Investing in Home Visiting
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Quality Home Visiting within Pennsylvania's
Early Childhood Care and Education Agenda
Protecting and strengthening access to
and the effectiveness of high-quality programs
High-quality voluntary home visiting programs are an essential ingredient to keeping children and families safe and healthy as well as foundational to a child's school readiness and success. These quality programs, which have been championed by bipartisan policy makers and Governor Corbett, work to keep pregnant and post-partum moms and babies connected to critical services inclusive of but also beyond health care.
The benefit of such programs extends beyond the individual child and family as they work to strengthen our communities by helping to reduce the effects of crime, delinquency, and school dropout and failures. They also work to promote self-sufficiency reducing government expenditures on welfare cash grants, Medicaid, and other safety net services. Effectively trained home visitors help to build the confidence and competence of a child's first teachers — their parents.
These high quality programs must remain a core ingredient to how Pennsylvania fulfills its commitment to the early care and education of the state's children.
Federal guidance about the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MCHVP) and Governor Corbett's proposed budget have the potential to impact the state's implementation of and investment in high quality programs. These evolving decisions warrant high-level attention and leadership.
The Protect Our Children Committee (POCC), which is dedicated to preventing child abuse and achieving intentional child welfare reforms, believes it important to achieve timely understanding about the following issues:
- Will federal MCHVP funds be available to any/all of the evidence-based home visiting models to ensure that local identified risks drive access to the most appropriate services?
- Does the elimination of state funding for Community-Based Family Centers reduce access to evidence-based services for young children after June 30th?
- How will the state ensure that it meets its Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for MCHVP?
Beyond reaching clarification on these questions, POCC believes now is the right time for a statewide dialogue and action plan that effectively positions Pennsylvania to maximize public and private resources and expertise to grow the reach of high-quality home visiting programs.