Policy Brief: Reauthorize and Strengthen MIECHV

By Jen Curt, CTIPP's Director of Government Affairs

The Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program has been shown to help parents break the cycles of trauma and poverty by providing support and teaching skills needed to achieve financial stability and to help raise healthy, happy, thriving children.

The program reduces maternal mortality and preterm birth, as well as child and family-serving system involvement and the need for Child Protective Services (CPS). Children whose families participate in these programs often enter school more ready to learn. The program saves taxpayer money in the first year of a child’s life, and those savings compound over time, making the program a strong investment.

MIECHV funding is due for reauthorization in 2022; without it, tens of thousands of families will lose access to these essential programs. We support the program’s reauthorization with three key updates/improvements to the program.

Specifically, in line with the National Home Visiting Coalition, we are requesting:

  • A fixed formula increases over the next five years. Currently, MIECHV funding only benefits three to five percent of eligible families and children. We recommend scaling up MIECHV over the next five years to increase the number of families served and ensure worker retention.

  • The set-aside for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities increased. This would support equity by ensuring communities most affected by poverty and intergenerational trauma have access.

  • Virtual service delivery option. Ensuring virtual home visiting implemented with model fidelity allows optional service delivery modality for families who choose it. As many as 51 percent of MIECHV-funded counties are rural, and in these communities, access is facilitated by performing some visits virtually. The virtual service delivery option improves equity by providing families with choice, convenience, and accessibility.