It’s no division title, but DC definitely got some winning news in early childhood programs last week. The DC Department of Health learned that they were one of six applicants nationwide to receive federal funding as a result of a competitive grant application completed in August. The District will receive $2.25 million per year for the next two years to build up DC’s Home Visitation program, which will benefit at-risk families with young children across our community.
The new funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV). Nationwide, evidence-based home visiting programs are increasingly seen as an essential part of a city or state’s comprehensive early childhood system. By definition, these types of programs are family-focused and use home visiting as a main way to deliver services to expectant parents and families with children under age five. These services are aimed at improving maternal and child health, parenting practices, and access to community resources. Quality home visiting programs also contribute to the prevention of child abuse and injuries, increased school readiness, and reductions in family violence.
Several things contributed to DC’s successful grant process. The fact that the Department of Health collaborated with the Home Visiting Council, a group of home visiting providers and government representatives, to develop the grant application likely presented a strong sense of coordination and shared vision for implementation once the funding comes through. The final grant application is not yet publicly available, but DCFPI is eager to watch the implementation process begin at the Department of Health over the next several months.
You can see all 2012 MIECHV grant winners here.
And let’s go Nats!