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Advocating for MIECHV Reauthorization in Illinois

Learn more about the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program in Illinois and check out resources to support you in advocating to Congress for a timely reauthorization of the critically important federal home visiting program

Kayla Goldfarb August 26, 2022
  • Policy and Systems
  • Blog
  • Resource

As the largest federal investment in evidence-based home visiting services, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) is a key pillar in the continuum of services and systems that strengthen the parent-child relationship and connect families to vital community resources to support long-term healthy development and well-being. The MIECHV authorizing statute – the law that describes and authorizes the distribution of federal funds to states, territories, and Tribal grantees by the federal government – expires on September 30, 2022. Now more than ever, advocates need to reach out to their Representatives to elevate the importance of the program in Illinois and urge Congress to reauthorize MIECHV before it expires.

In Illinois, MIECHV funds are critical to the state’s robust home visiting system, enhancing decades of local and state investments in home visiting services. MIECHV funds direct services for nearly 3,000 parents and children in Illinois annually. These high-quality home visiting services help families achieve stronger outcomes in maternal and child health, family economic self-sufficiency, and school-readiness domains.

MIECHV also strengthens the broader Illinois home visiting system by supporting high-quality training and professional development opportunities for home visitors and doulas, promoting coordination across the various funding streams that support home visiting, and supports innovative approaches to improve the ability of home visiting services to support families with child welfare involvement, families experiencing homelessness, pregnant and parenting youth in the care of the child welfare system, and other priority communities.

MIECHV has benefited from robust, bi-partisan support in Congress, including the leadership of Illinois’ Congressman Danny Davis (7th Congressional District) who has been a staunch advocate for MIECHV since the program’s inception in 2013 in his role as Chairman of the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has legislative authority over the program.

Over the past decade, the federal home visiting program has made a real, measurable difference in the lives of children and families in my community in Chicago and across the country, making sure that work continues and that we make the investment to bring these life-transforming programs to more families is a critical priority for me and my colleagues at the Ways and Means Committee this Congress.

- Illinois Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th Congressional District)
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Still, additional advocacy is needed to ensure every Member of Congress is ready to support MIECHV reauthorization. Key priorities for reauthorization are:

  • Pass an on-time, five-year reauthorization for the program
  • Increase funding by $200 million each year over five years, to reach more families and better support the workforce
  • Double the Tribal set-aside
  • Continue to allow virtual home visiting with model fidelity as an option
Keep the Pressure on Congress for a Timely Reauthorization

Your Advocacy is Needed

Here’s how you can get started:

Tell Your Lawmakers: Families Cannot Lose Critical Home Visiting Services

Make Your Voice Heard and contact legislators to help make a greater impact on families with young children across the country at risk of losing critical home visiting services.

Take Action Now

Amplify the Message on Social Media

Share posts from our MIECHV Reauthorization social media toolkit with your networks and follow Start Early’s Illinois Policy Team on Twitter @EarlyEdIL for the latest updates for advocates in the state.

View Social Toolkit

Schedule a Visit (Virtual or In-Person) with your Representative

Use the resources below to help you describe the impact of MIECHV in Illinois and why an on-time reauthorization is critical to families and children.

Resources to Support Your Advocacy


About the Author

Kayla Goldfarb

Kayla Goldfarb

Policy Manager, Start Early

Kayla Goldfarb is a policy manager with the Illinois Policy Team and primarily focuses on home visiting where she provides staffing support to the Illinois Home Visiting Task Force.

More About Kayla

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*MIECHV data provided by the Health Resources & Services Administration. HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.