A Statement from First Five Years Fund (FFYF) Executive Director Kris Perry:
In overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion this evening, the U.S. Senate passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act by a vote of 92 to 8. This legislation heeds the demands of Republicans and Democrats alike to extend the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program funding through fiscal year 2017, providing $800 million for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
Today’s action will protect funding for local programs that serve thousands of children and families across the U.S. for years to come. And, importantly, this is another in a long series of bipartisan investments that leaders in Congress have made in early childhood programs in recent years.
The MIECHV program is a federal-state partnership with long-standing bipartisan support in Congress and states due to the programs’ success in strengthening families and providing new parents with the critical skills needed to actively support their child’s early development and education. Law enforcement, business leaders, health professionals, educators and dozens of organizations have called for extending this funding—and Congress heard them loud and clear.
Evidence-based, rigorously evaluated home visiting services have proven to be effective strategies for improving outcomes for at-risk parents and children, while saving public resources over the long-term. When these quality programs are properly implemented, they lead to reduced health care costs, reduced need for remedial education and increased family self-sufficiency.
Source: The First Five Years Fund