The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program supports pregnant people and parents with young children who live in communities that face greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes. Families choose to participate in home visiting programs, and partner with health, social service, and child development professionals to set and achieve goals that improve their health and well-being.
The program aims to:
- Improve: maternal and child health
- Prevent: child abuse and neglect
- Reduce: crime and domestic violence
- Increase: family education level and earning potential
- Promote: children’s development and readiness to participate in school
- Connect: families to needed community resources and supports
How home visiting helps communities and families
Home visitors and families develop strong relationships and trust through meeting regularly and addressing families’ needs.
- Support healthy pregnancy practices
- Provide information on topics such as breastfeeding, safe sleep, preventing unintended child injuries, and nutrition
- Encourage early language development and early learning at home
- Teach positive parenting skills like reading, playing, and praising good behaviors
- Work with caregivers to set goals for the future, continue their education, and find employment and child care solutions
- Connect families to other services and resources in their community
How we implement this program
In partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), we fund states, territories, and tribal entities to develop and implement home visiting programs. These programs must be based on the best evidence showing that they are effective at meeting the needs of families.
- FY 2023 Formula Funding Awards
- FY 2022 MIECHV Program Reauthorization
- FY 2022 Formula Funding Awards
- FY 2021 American Rescue Plan Act Awards
- FY 2021 Formula Funding Awards
- FY 2020 Formula Funding Awards
- MIECHV Innovation Awards
- Tribal Home Visiting Program
How we ensure these programs work
The Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) review conducts a thorough and transparent review of home visiting program models to ensure they effectively meet family needs. There are currently 24 home visiting models that meet HomVEE and other eligibility criteria. States, territories, and tribal entities have the flexibility to select eligible home visiting models that are the best fit for their communities.
Awardees must report on their program’s performance for 19 measures across six statutorily defined benchmark areas and demonstrate improvements in at least four benchmark areas.
We provide technical assistance support to awardees to help them implement home visiting models, meet performance goals, and improve services to families.
How is Home Visiting different from the Healthy Start Program?
The Home Visiting and the Healthy Start program both reach pregnant women and families. But, they differ in terms of both funding and approach.
The Home Visiting program awards grants to 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 5 territories to create state-wide networks that support and carry out HHS-approved evidence-based home visiting models.
Healthy Start provides direct funding to local entities. Healthy Start awardees serve communities in which babies die more often than the national average.
The 2023 funding increase for Home Visiting is the result of a five year, bipartisan reauthorization of that specific program by Congress. As such, this reauthorization further delineates Home Visiting from Healthy Start.
While both programs play a vital role in improving maternal and child health, they do so in distinct ways:
The Home Visiting Program:
- Focuses on early childhood development, especially:
- Preventing child abuse and neglect
- Promoting positive parenting
- Supporting school readiness
- States choose evidence-based models that fit their community’s needs
The Healthy Start Program:
- Focuses on reducing infant deaths
- Provides flexibility to tailor services to meet specific family and community needs, such as:
- Providing both clinical and non-clinical health services
- Offering well-woman, maternity care, and doula services
- Helping with transportation and housing needs
And, each program emphasizes different parts of the life course:
- The Healthy Start Program focuses on the period before, during, and after pregnancy.
- While some Home Visiting models focus on the time before birth, many models serve families throughout the early childhood period up until kindergarten.
How we support communities and families in response to COVID-19
We awarded about $121 million in funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (PDF - 681 KB) to current MIECHV awardees to support children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. ARP funds are being used to meet the emergency needs of families. Examples include:
- Providing needed emergency supplies for families, including groceries, diapers, and other supplies
- Providing training for home visitors, including training to identify and address families’ mental health needs
- Providing funds for home visitor hazard pay or other staff costs, including overtime for home visitors to reach families who are unable to participate in home visiting during regular work hours
Learn more about how home visiting programs have supported families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resources for our awardees
- COVID-19 Resources and FAQs for Home Visiting
- Technical Assistance for Awardees
- Data, Evaluation, and Continuous Quality Improvement for Programs
- Discretionary Grant Information System (DGIS)
Additional briefs, fact sheets, and media
- Program Brief: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (PDF - 320 KB)
- Home Visiting Program State Fact Sheets
- Early Childhood Systems
- Demonstrating Improvement in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program: A Report to Congress (PDF - 1 MB)
- MIECHV Awardee Video: Why Home Visiting Matters
- FY 2022 Home Visiting Infographic (PDF - 208 KB)
Download a PDF version (PDF - 208 KB)
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The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program
The voluntary Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program gives pregnant people and families living in communities at risk for poor maternal and child health outcomes the necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to succeed.
In FY 2022, the MIECHV Program served approximately 138,000 parents and children and provided more than 840,000 home visits.
The MIECHV Program funds states, territories, and tribal entities to develop and implement evidence-based, voluntary programs that best meet the needs of their communities.
- Improved maternal and newborn health
- Improved school readiness and achievement
- Improved family economic self-sufficiency
- Reduced child injuries, abuse, and neglect
- Reduced crime or domestic violence
- Improved coordination and referrals for community resources
The MIECHV Program serves many of the most vulnerable families. In FY 2022, states and territories reported that:
- 67% of participating families had household incomes at or below federal poverty guidelines ($26,500 for a family of four)
- 60% of adult program participants had a high school diploma or less
Families served by the MIECHV Program were at risk for poor family and child outcomes. In FY 2022, states and territories reported that:
- 19% of households reported a history of child abuse and maltreatment
- 13% of households reported substance misuse
- 9% of households included enrollees who are pregnant teens
The MIECHV Program’s impact on parents and their children in FY 2022:
- Depression screening—81% of MIECHV caregivers were screened for depression within 3 months of enrollment or 3 months of delivery
- School readiness—79% of children enrolled in MIECHV had a family member who read, told stories, and/or sang with them on a daily basis
- Postpartum care—70% of mothers enrolled in MIECHV received a postpartum visit with a health care provider within 8 weeks of delivery
- Well-child visit—70% of children enrolled in MIECHV received the most recent recommended well-child visit based on the AAP schedule
Learn more about the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and its impact on families.