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April 3, 2012
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Health care law expands support for children and families

To improve the health and development of children, 10 states received grants to provide early childhood supports and home visits to families who volunteer to receive these services, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.

These awards are part of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) created by the Affordable Care Act. The nearly $72 million in funding announced today will allow states to expand or establish their home visiting program.

“Home visits from an experienced counselor can help provide skills and links to important services and early childhood education,” said Secretary Sebelius.

Today’s awards include states that have demonstrated a commitment to operating successful early childhood systems for pregnant women, parents, caregivers and children from birth-to-eight years of age.  The awards also include states that are developing new home visiting programs, using proven strategies, to support families and improve health and developmental outcomes.

“These investments will give states a significant boost in their efforts to keep children safe and healthy,” said Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 

HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) collaborates with HRSA on the implementation of the home visiting program.  The two agencies provide states guidance and assistance in early learning and development, the prevention and identification of child maltreatment, the improvement of maternal and child health outcomes, and family engagement.

“Helping children and families succeed involves many approaches and voluntary home visits play a key role in strengthening families and putting children on solid footing,” said George Sheldon, the ACF acting assistant secretary.

Awardees include:   



Colorado Department of Public Health and EnvironmentDenver



State of Connecticut Department of Public HealthHartford



Iowa Department of Public HealthDes Moines



Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Public HealthFrankfort



Minnesota Department of HealthSt. Paul



New Jersey Department of Health and Senior ServicesTrenton



Commonwealth of PennsylvaniaHarrisburg



Tennessee Department of HealthNashville



Commonwealth of Virginia Department of HealthRichmond



Washington State Department of Early LearningOlympia






The MIECHV program is one part of the Obama administration’s strong commitment to improve health outcomes for America’s children and families.

For more information on HRSA’s MIECHV program, please visit  To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit


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Last revised: April 4, 2014