The bipartisan budget deal that Congress agreed to last month failed to solve the plight of the Dreamers and extends tax cuts that will add billions to the deficit. Still, quietly buried in the text of the law is much-needed good news for low-income mothers and their children: a provision reauthorizing federal support for home visiting programs that help prepare young children for school.
The new spending bill provides $400 million a year for five years to the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), passed by Congress in 2010. The program provides at-risk pregnant women and new parents with services such as home medical care, parental training, and nutrition guidance. Giving low-income children a more stable start ends up significantly diminishing future public expense on healthcare and supplementary education. In short, home visiting programs help alleviate inequality while creating positive long-lasting results that reverberate throughout whole communities.
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