Dear Senate and House Leaders:
As diverse national, state, tribal and local organizations committed to accountable policies that both improve outcomes for vulnerable children, pregnant women and families and save taxpayer resources, we write to urge you to extend funding for the bipartisan-supported Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV program) at its current annual funding level of $400 million in the upcoming lame duck session OR as one of the first acts of the 114th Congress before MIECHV program funding expires in March 2015.
As you know, our nation spends billions annually to address a host of health, educational and social challenges that at-risk families face, including poor birth outcomes, child abuse and neglect, childhood cognitive disabilities, and poor school readiness and academic achievement. These conditions, however, can be reduced or prevented at a fraction of the costs with voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs. MIECHV supports the implementation and expansion of evidence-based home visiting programs that help children and families in 50 states, 6 territories, and numerous tribes and the Urban Indian Organizations implementing tribal home visiting programs.
Scientific research demonstrates that evidence-based home visiting improves prenatal care and birth outcomes, early child health and development, school readiness, and parenting practices; reduces child maltreatment, and helps families become more self-sufficient. These outcomes can produce a significant return on investment for state and federal government. Studies have found that evidence-based home visiting saves scarce resources. For example, a 2005 report by the RAND Corporation, entitled Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise, found that two evidence-based home visiting programs saved from $1.80 to $5.70 per dollar invested.
MIECHV is a wise investment and a good use of taxpayer money--qualities that states have embraced as a sensible approach to the health, educational and fiscal challenges we face. MIECHV allows states flexibility in choosing the home visiting initiatives that best meet their needs, while maintaining important accountability provisions that ensure positive outcomes for children and families. Participation in home visiting is voluntary, which means parents who participate in the program are committed to their success. MIECHV is a pro-family program that enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. In fact, Congress previously voted in support of continued funding for the MIECHV program. We urge you to include an extension of the MIECHV program at its current funding level among legislation that must pass during the lame duck session or prior to March 2015 in the 114th Congress.
American Psychological Association
Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Children’s Defense Fund
Child Welfare League of America
First 5 LA
First Five Years Fund
First Focus Campaign for Children
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY USA)
March of Dimes
National Child Abuse Coalition
National Head Start Association
Parents as Teachers
Play and Learning Strategies (PALS)
Pew Charitable Trusts
Prevent Child Abuse America/Healthy Families America
Save the Children Action Network
The Parent-Child Home Program
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