Letter to Congress: Business Leaders Urge Reauthorization of MIECHV
The business executives of ReadyNation urge Congress to reauthorize the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program
The following letter was sent to all members of the United States Congress, which contains more than 50 signatures of business leaders all calling for the reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program.
To All Members of the United States Congress,
We represent ReadyNation, a national, nonpartisan business network of senior executives across industries working to help build a competitive future workforce by promoting smart investments in children and youth. We support the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, which provides federal support to voluntary home visiting programs around the country. Voluntary home visiting programs pair nurses or other trained professionals with at-risk parents seeking additional support during the first few years of parenthood. We urge Congress to reauthorize this program before it expires on September 30, 2017.
Voluntary home visiting programs have both short and long-term outcomes that impact businesses: they help prevent expensive negative outcomes that, if left unaddressed, can hinder economic vitality by resulting in more expensive remediation, and they help build a productive workforce.
The strong return on investment for these programs warrants a continued investment in MIECHV.
MIECHV-funded programs save an average of more than $5,000 per family served. The strong return on investment for these programs warrants a continued investment in MIECHV. These costs savings come in part from families’ increased economic self-reliance. A study of the Early Head Start home visiting program found a $3,600 increase in at-risk mothers’ average annual earnings. Another study of the Nurse-Family Partnership found welfare savings of $14,500 per family over a decade.
Voluntary home visiting programs supported through MIECHV also promote better school readiness and ultimately increase the earning potential of participating children. This should come as no surprise, as the fastest period of brain development occurs during the first years of life. Therefore, a stable, supportive environment in the early years is crucial for setting a strong foundation for better outcomes down the road.
We urge you to increase the investment in this high-performing program, scaling up to double the current amount over the reauthorization period. Additionally, we urge you to reauthorize the program for five years in order to give providers time and stability to plan, just as we would seek to have in our businesses. The MIECHV program is a smart down payment on a healthier, more robust future workforce while simultaneously yielding short-term returns as well. Therefore, we strongly urge you to reauthorize this program before it expires on September 30, 2017.