As part of the CR/budget deal, Congress has finally extended the home visiting or Maternal, Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) for a full five years.
It has been a long haul for the home visiting coalition which originally sought a doubling of funding over five years. With the raging budget and health care battles of last year it was clear that would not happen so advocates worked on a five year extension and that is the victory finally reached last Friday. MIECHV is funded at $400 million per year in mandatory funding, so it won’t have to endure the annual appropriations fights for these next five years. At times there were set backs as Congress skipped past the September 30, 2017 expiration date as well as numerous vehicle bills to extend it such as previous CRs.
CWLA members joined with other advocates last week when the House of Representatives failed to include home visiting in their CR package. The Senate however did include it in the deal when Senator McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Schumer (D-NY) announced the accord.
Now it’s back to implementation with any future efforts to increase the program not held hostage to expiration dates and budget confrontations.