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HHS announces expansion of Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $69.7 million in grant awards to 13 states to expand Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program activities funded by the Affordable Care Act. These competitive awards recognize states that have implemented a high-quality, evidence-based home visiting program as part of a comprehensive, early childhood system of care.

"These awards support states in their efforts to expand and improve home visiting support services for our most vulnerable children and families," said Secretary Sebelius.

Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the MIECHV Program provides grants to states to deliver critical health, development, early learning and family support services to children and families who enroll in the program. The program provides voluntary home visits in communities identified by the state grantees for eligible families who welcome education and support to strengthen their relationship with their infants and young children. The program helps to ensure women have a healthy pregnancy.

Since the MIECHV Program was enacted in 2010, it's been implemented in 544 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories to serve about 15,000 families. HHS' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) partners with HRSA to implement the MIECHV Program, and leads the Tribal Home Visiting Program.

"This program plays a crucial role in the national effort to build comprehensive statewide early childhood systems for pregnant women, parents and caregivers, and children from birth to 8 years of age -- and, ultimately, to improve health and development outcomes," said Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., Administrator, HRSA.

Eligibility was limited to those states and territories that received a competitive development grant in 2011 or have not yet received a competitive MIECHV grant.

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