President Barack Obama released details Thursday of the early childhood agenda outlined in his State of the Union Address.
The President’s proposal includes funding for state pre-kindergarten programs and an expansion of his administration’s evidence-based early childhood home visiting program.
Libby Doggett, director of Pew’s home visiting campaign, said:
“We applaud this move by the President to work with states to expand voluntary home visiting programs. Both the President and governors across the country agree that prioritizing young kids is one of the best investments we can make.
“Every mom and dad wants to bring out the best in their child. Home visiting programs bring out the best in parents. These are goals that transcend politics and party, and the support we’ve seen already from policymakers on both sides of the aisle proves it.”
Iowa, Michigan and Maryland enacted policies in 2012 to ensure that their state home visiting dollars get results for new parents and their babies. One important part of these reforms is a requirement that most of the state’s home visiting funds go to programs with evidence proving their effectiveness.
Voluntary home visiting matches parents with trained professionals to provide information and support during pregnancy and throughout their child’s first few years—a critical developmental period. Quality, voluntary home visiting leads to considerable cost savings for states, with fewer children in social welfare, mental health, and juvenile corrections systems.
Video: Watch Pew's Libby Doggett discuss the importance of the President's proposal.