We did it! And children and families win!
Last week, we asked for your help to save federal funding for proven and high-quality home visiting services that support our state’s most vulnerable children and families.
Many thanks to all of you who called, emailed and tweeted your members of Congress to support home visiting. On Monday night, Congress approved a 6-month extension of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. This short-term extension at current funding levels lets states know they can count on the program continuing beyond Sept. 30 of this year, when it was set to end. It also gives Congress some breathing room to consider a longer-term reauthorization of the program before March 31, 2015, the new expiration date.
In our state, MIECHV funds sit within the Home Visiting Services Account, which Thrive administers in partnership with the state Department of Early Learning. Unique to Washington state, this account allows us to maximize federal MIECHV dollars by leveraging them with state and private money to give even more families access to high-quality home visiting programs that have the power to change the lives of individual children … and entire families.
These dollars DO matter. Sherene Sucilla knows they do. Earlier this week, this Yakima mom traveled to Washington, D.C. and shared her story at a hearing on MIECHV held by our own Congressman Dave Reichert. I strongly encourage you to listen to what she and her home visitor had to say. (The first 20 minutes of this video are powerful.)
A heartfelt thank you to all of you … and to our Congressional delegation for their support and leadership.