5 Things to Know About Early Childhood Home Visiting

Early childhood home visiting is a type of family support targeted to expectant parents and parents of children birth to age 5. Trained home visitors provide services and support for parents and their children in their homes, where they may feel most comfortable. Parents who choose to participate in home visits may receive information on child development, health, and well-being, and on sources of support for parents themselves. Parents also learn about available services such as developmental screenings, and enrollment in any benefits they—or their children—may need.

States use a mix of federal, state, and foundation funding to support home visiting programs, and expenditures nationally may now exceed $1 billion.[1] Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) is one federal effort that facilitates the implementation of evidence-based home visiting programs. In fiscal year 2015, MIECHV-supported home visiting programs served 165,500 parents and children in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, five territories, and 25 tribal entities.

There has been a great deal of research, over many decades, examining the use of home visiting to reach vulnerable children and families. Based on this research, here are five things to know: