MIECHV Funding Has Central Role in Expanding Home Visiting Services to Vulnerable Families


CLASP, together with the Center for American Progress, interviewed 20 state and 2 tribal MIECHV grantees to understand how federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) dollars are being used to provide evidence-based home visiting services to children and parents, and to identify innovative approaches, successes, and challenges. The results are outlined in a report, An Investment in our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Support for Parents and Children, and in-depth state profiles (accessed through our interactive map below).

Interviews with 22 states and tribal organizations revealed the breadth of innovation and success across the country as a result of MIECHV funding, including the:

  • Expansion of evidence-based home visiting to serve more vulnerable children and families in high-risk communities and keep them engaged in the programs.
  • Establishment of systems within home visiting communities and across services that support children and families, ensuring that families receive the best services to meet their needs.
  • Provision of systemic training, technical assistance, and professional development to support the home visiting workforce.
  • Creation of data collection systems, allowing grantees to analyze, evaluate, and report on data to demonstrate achieved child and family outcomes and improve program quality.
  • Coordination amongst home visiting and other early childhood programs as well as the creation of centralized intake systems, which are collaborative approaches to engaging, recruiting, and enrolling families in home visiting programs across programs and organizations.
  • Use of promising practices and other innovations in order to better serve at-risk populations with unmet needs.

Source: CLASP: Policy Solutions That Work for Low-Income People

Available at: http://www.clasp.org/issues/child-care-and-early-education/did-you-know/miechv-funding-has-central-role-in-expanding-home-visiting-services-to-vulnerable-families

Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness


Around the country, Head Start and Early Head Start programs are building partnerships in their communities in order to make their services more accessible for children experiencing homelessness.

ACF just released Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness, a resource paper that highlights efforts by local Head Start and Early Head Start programs to connect with public housing associations, emergency shelter providers, local education agencies, and other community service providers. It also provides recommendations and resources to facilitate collaborations in other communities.

Children experiencing homelessness are disproportionally at-risk for a host of negative developmental and educational outcomes. They also face many barriers to accessing early care and learning programs that could provide foundational supports to overcome the negative impacts of homelessness.  The partnerships highlighted are vital to help children experiencing homelessness connect with high quality early care and learning opportunities, as well as to help Head Start and Early Head Start families connect with other services. Head Start and Early Head Start program staff, housing providers, and state and local leaders can learn from these practices to develop mutually beneficial partnerships that expand access to services for families experiencing homelessness.

Source: Administration for Children and Families

Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/news/building-partnerships-to-address-family-homelessness

Kindergartners’ Skills at School Entry: An Analysis of the ECLS-K


This report provides an analysis of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11, focusing on the school readiness and abilities of beginning kindergartners.The analysis examined four risk factors that have been shown to affect childrens development and school achievement: single parent households, mothers with less than a high school education, households with incomes below the federal poverty line, and non-English speaking households. High-risk children those with all four risk factors were found to be almost a year behind their peers with no risk factors in their reading and math abilities.The researchers also created composite readiness scores based on teacher ratings of childrens academic and social skills. Based on the researchers calculation, less than one-third of children were rated by teachers as “in-progress” or better on both reading and math skills.

Source: Mathematica Policy Research

Available at: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-publications-and-findings/publications/kindergartners-skills-at-school-entry-an-analysis-of-the-eclsk

Are the Children Well?


The mental health challenges our country’s young people face call for shifting the focus of policy and practice from illness, to promotion of wellness and flourishing. This requires using evidence-based strategies with both children and parents, and improving the quality of the environments where children and youth live, learn, play, and grow.

In recent years, prominent experts have urged changes to help end longstanding disparities between physical and mental health care, and to foster wellness. This report builds on that prior work. Child Trends argues that the distinction between physical and mental health is both artificial and harmful, and make a case for re-balancing attention to include wellness in addition to illness. It is important to identify and address the needs of children at risk, while also improving the mental wellness supports and services available to all children and youth. Therefore, Child Trends considered the evidence for interventions, both prevention- and promotion-oriented, that can improve mental wellness at the multiple levels of individual, family, school, and community.

Download Report: PDF

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Available at: http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2014/07/are-the-children-well-.html

Young Child Risk Calculator


The risk factors used in this tool are known to increase the chance of poor health, school, and developmental outcomes for young children. Economic hardship paired with any of the listed risk factors may indicate a greater chance of poor outcomes. Children with three or more risks are exceptionally vulnerable. Information about the prevalence of young children experiencing these risks can inform policies aimed at improving outcomes for vulnerable children and reducing the number of children experiencing early risks.

Source: National Center for Child in Poverty

Available at: http://www.nccp.org/tools/risk/

Transforming Early Childhood Education, Pre-K to Grade 3

The impact of high-quality early learning experiences is well established, particularly for children at risk for underachievement. Yet there have only been marginal strides in creating and supporting an infrastructure that provides all children and families with access to these crucial early learning opportunities that are so vital to our nation’s education, civic, and economic prosperity.

Source:  National Association of Elementary School Principals

Available at: http://www.naesp.org/transforming-early-childhood-education-pre-k-grade-3