A coalition of North Carolina organizations committed to the well-being of children signed on to a letter calling on Congress to reauthorize funding for the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) before it expires on September 30th. Expiration of funding would leave thousands of American families without reliable access to this critical program. No bill has been introduced in Congress to prevent a lapse in funding.
The MIECHV program sends trained professionals, such as nurses, social workers, and early childhood educators, to the homes of high-risk families during pregnancy and early childhood to help with everything from breastfeeding and developmental milestones, to accessing job training or childcare services. MIECHV is proven to reduce preterm births and pediatric emergency room visits, increase kindergarten readiness for children, and improve economic stability and self-sufficiency for mothers. It has also reduced abuse and neglect – you can see the data here.
The most recent numbers show 1,009 participants are enrolled in home visiting in North Carolina, touching over 500 distinct households, with a total of 7,220 home visits made by experts to homes throughout the state – from the biggest cities to the most rural communities.
Despite decades of research showing invaluable outcomes, the future of home visiting for these families is in doubt because Congress has not yet acted. The following local organizations signed on to the letter urging Congress to take action before it’s too late:
Blue Ridge Healthy Families
Catawba Valley Healthy Families
Child Care Services Association
Family Resource Center South Atlantic
Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina
Think Babies NC Alliance