(Lisa Guernsey, our colleague in the New America Foundation Early Education program, has been tracking the home visitation program in the new Affordable Care Act. The program sends nurses to do home visits to the homes of low-income women who are pregnant or caring for babies. We're crossposting most of the piece she did for the Early Ed Watch blog this week. Her focus, for her blog's readers, is quite specific about the grant application process and timetables. If you want more background on what the program does-- and the evidence that it works -- read her earlier posts here and here and a recent podcast with a short written summary here.)
For the early education field the home visitation program is a bright spot in the new health legislation.
Over the summer, states will be preparing applications to receive federal funding for the program, which is considered a critical piece of the broader vision for a birth-to-age-8 system of early care and education. The first application is due July 9.
The home visitation program (officially titled the Affordable Care Act Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program) is designed to disburse $1.5 billion in grants to states over the next five years. (See this helpful summary from the Center for Law and Social Policy.)