Learning and development begin long before a child enters a classroom for the first time. For children to be ready for school, it’s critical that parents have the tools necessary to support their child’s development. For parents that are experiencing poverty, language barriers or geographic isolation, voluntary home visiting can be a valuable resource for supporting parents to be the best advocate for their child’s learning and development in the early years, including serving pregnant mothers. Home visits improve family and child outcomes by tailoring support to the family’s needs. Investing in children from birth through family support programs ultimately saves money for tax payers as a result of the increased family self-sufficiency.
Funding for voluntary home visiting programs at the federal level comes from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, a federal/state partnership with long-standing bipartisan support in Congress and in states, was first established by Congress in 2010. Federal investment in MIECHV has kickstarted a boost in state investment. Since 2010, ten states—Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Vermont – have passed legislation that creates similar accountability for their state home visiting investments.