2022 was the year for the reauthorization of the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program—MIECHV! And with overwhelming bipartisan support, MIECHV was reauthorized in the $1.7 trillion end-of-year package approved by Congress. It was signed into law by President Biden on December 30.
This reauthorization, named after former Congresswoman and passionate MIECHV supporter, the late Jackie Walorski, doubles the funding from $400 million annually to $800 million annually over five years. And, thankfully, the National Home Visiting Coalition’s (NHVC) priorities were substantially met: five years, doubling the tribal set aside, and allowing the continuation of virtual home visits.
At the onset, Parents as Teachers, a leader in the steering committee of the NHVC, helped raise and manage more than $450,000 in grant funding to build visibility and awareness of home visiting with lawmakers on the Hill in Washington, D.C. Parents as Teachers conducted a day-long campaign kickoff in Baltimore, MD, hosted a virtual Hill staff briefing, and participated in others.
This spring, after the reauthorization was confirmed, Parents as Teachers’ board members, state leaders, state office staff, and affiliate staff, accompanied by our National Center staff, made visits to the House and Senate offices of 17 congressional delegations. In total, we made 55 visits to thank those who supported MIECHV’s reauthorization and provided information on the program and implementation steps to Hill staff.
In addition to MIECHV’s reauthorization, there was additional good news in the package:
- The FACE program—a 31-year partnership between the Bureau of Indian Education, Parents as Teachers, and the National Center for Families Learning—received a $3.6 million bump to $25.3 million “to increase support for existing early child and family development programs and to expand to new programs.”
- Statewide Family Engagement Centers—the successor to Parent Information Resource Centers—are getting a bump from $15 to $20 million.
- The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program received a $1.9 billion increase to $8 billion.
- Head Start and Early Head Start received an increase of $960 million to $12 billion.
- The Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) program received an increase from $290 million to $315 million.
- IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Toddlers received an increase of $43.7 million to $540 million.
Now is the time to make sure Parents, as Teachers is included in all state MIECHV, plans as an eligible model. Where Parents as Teachers is already included, we will work to identify how we can grow the capacity of already MIECHV-funded affiliates — including increasing workforce support — as well as engage other model affiliates in the program. There are a lot of opportunities in this new year. Working together, we can leverage these amazing opportunities to partner with more families and young children.