More than a decade of bipartisan work in states has led to improved access to learning and health opportunities for children like evidence-based home visiting and high-quality pre-k. In states like Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky , Maryland , Michigan, and New Mexico, governors and state legislators have crossed party lines and worked together because they understand the long-term value and savings to taxpayers that come from investing in children, beginning in the earliest years.
These state initiatives have attracted support at the federal level. The latest evidence of this support came when the Administration released its FY 2014 budget request in April, which included $15 billion over the next ten years to expand evidence-based home visiting. This funding level is a five-fold increase from the amount currently authorized under MIECHV.
While this year's federal budget negotiations are far from over, we are encouraged that some leaders in Washington are signaling that they clearly understand the effectiveness of home visiting in producing outcomes like healthier births, more children ready to learn when they start school, and more self-sufficient families.
This funding request creates a new opportunity for state leaders to enhance and accelerate their priorities around early learning, education reform, economic recovery, and all the benefits that come from expanding home visiting.