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Childhood Begins at Home Campaign, Congressman Evans Urge MIECHV Reauthorization in Philadelphia

With federal funding set to expire for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program on September 30th, this week the Childhood Begins at Home campaign met with Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA-3rd) to underscore the need for Congress to reauthorize the program. MIECHV provides nearly $12 million of federal funding awards to Pennsylvania annually. 

During the event in Philadelphia, which the Maternity Care Coalition hosted, home visitors and families who receive services through Healthy Families America and Nurse-Family Partnership shared positive experiences with the programs—both models receive MIECHV funding.

Evans noted his concern for families in his congressional district if MIECHV expires as it did in 2017. Across Philadelphia, about 72,000 low-income children would benefit from voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs, but only 3%—or 2,000 children and families who would benefit the most—are being served.

As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Evans will have the opportunity to support legislation to reauthorize the program when it comes up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this fall.

Childhood Begins at Home calls on Congress to reauthorize MIECHV before the end of September to ensure Pennsylvania families continue receiving vital home visiting services. After nearly a decade of flat funding, the campaign, along with the National Home Visiting Coalition, is seeking an annual increase of $120 million for all states for the next 5-year renewal period to reach more families in communities at-risk of poor maternal and child outcomes.


Reconciliation Bill Passes Without Addressing Issues Facing Families & Children

Today President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The U.S. House and Senate passed the bill last week after an agreement was struck between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and moderate Democrat Joe Manchin (D-WV). Earlier this year, Manchin derailed President Biden’s signature domestic policy, the Build Back Better Act. 

Policy provisions and funding for programs that impact children and families missing from the reconciliation package include: making the CHIP program permanent, implementing universal pre-k and paid family leave, a continuation of the child tax credit, funding for child care, and programs to address maternal mortality. PPC will continue to advocate for these important policies to our congressional delegation.

The Inflation Reduction Act narrowly focuses on climate change, taxes, and health care costs. It includes:

  • Allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, capping out-of-pocket prescription costs for Medicare recipients, and extending healthcare subsidies for insurance plans bought via the health insurance exchange.
  • An investment of over $360 billion to address climate change and green energy over the next ten years and a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 40%.
  • A new 15% minimum tax rate for corporations with profits over $1 billion adds 1% tax for companies buying back their own stocks and increases funding for the IRS’s tax evasion enforcement.

Pennsylvania Ranks 21st in Nation for Child Well-Being

Pennsylvania ranks 21st for child well-being, according to the 2022 KIDS COUNT® Data Book, a 50-state report of recent household data developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation analyzing how children and families are faring.

This year’s resource focuses on youth mental health, concurring with a recent assessment by the U.S. surgeon general that conditions amount to a youth “mental health pandemic.” Pennsylvania ranks 24th for the number of uninsured children. Medicaid and CHIP coverage ensures children get regular checkups that include mental health and social-emotional development screenings, so our concern is keeping eligible children covered when the public health emergency ends.

The percentage of children with depression or anxiety in Pennsylvania jumped by an even larger amount than it did nationally. It increased by 28%, from 10.2% (226,000) to 13% (282,000) of children ages 3-17. 

Racial and ethnic disparities contribute to disproportionately troubling mental health and wellness conditions among children of color. Nationally, 9% of high schoolers overall but 12% of Black students, 13% of students of two or more races, and 26% of American Indian or Native Alaskan high schoolers attempted suicide in the year before the most recent federal survey. In Pennsylvania, one out of every 12 high schoolers attempted suicide—students of color need more supports, as the survey shows that one in eight Black students and more than one in seven Hispanic students attempted suicide.

Learn more. Additional information is available at www.aecf.org/databook


In Case You Missed It...

  • PPC President and CEO Kari King recently sat down with FOX43 to discuss the benefits of home visiting and the need for MIECHV reauthorization. “Families have been through so much with the pandemic, and now with the economy," King said. "Don’t put that uncertainty out there.” She was also included in a story on MIECHV reauthorization from Pittsburgh’s WESA.
  • OCDEL and Gov. Wolf announced the recipients of more than $384 million in grant funding provided through both the Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Programs. The administration highlighted in the announcement the 2,960 new Pre-K Counts slots achieved with the 2022-23 state budget’s historic increase of $60 million, including a rate increase for providers to help address rising operating costs. A total of 89 eligible Pre-K Counts providers were awarded. For Head Start Supplemental Assistance, 41 grantees were awarded, in part using funds from the $19 million increase included in the 2022-23 state budget.
  • The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) recently released a new brief, Increasing Support for Home Visiting Innovation is Critical for Young Children and Their Families, demonstrating the positive outcomes of home visiting yet acknowledging its limited reach due to limited funding.
  • Reminder about the HealthChoices Plan Selection: Medical Assistance (MA) enrollees have until today, August 16th, to choose a new health plan that’s right for them and their families. Enrollees will not lose coverage if they do not select a plan but instead will be assigned one by DHS after that.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680

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