(Montana) – In a victory for children and families across the state, Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock announced that Montana will receive more than $4.3 million in funding for its Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
Montana’s Home Visiting Program provides voluntary in-home support services, like prenatal care and parental education programs, to pregnant women and young families.
“Making sure our kids get off to a healthy start in life not only strengthens Montana’s families, it creates a solid foundation for our state’s future,” Tester said. “These investments help prevent child abuse, improve academic readiness, and support at-risk families.
“We know that the first five years of a child's life are critical and a strong start is the cornerstone of everything from a competitive workforce to the economic and financial security of Montana families,” Bullock said. “Smart investments such as this in Montana families help to ensure that they have access to the healthcare and information they need to support healthy development and set their children on a path to success."
In 2014, Montana’s Home Visiting Program organized 2,447 home visits to 292 families across 18 counties, while also managing to enroll 347 new parents and children in the program. The program’s evidenced-based methods are informed by a large body of research that shows home visits by medical, educational, and social service professionals can improve physical, psychological, and educational outcomes for children under five.
Tester has been a strong advocate for children and families in the Senate, fighting for access to healthcare for all, supporting funding for women’s health, introducing legislation to ensure students have access to medical care, and making sure parents know what they’re feeding their families
Bullock has worked to increase access to and availability of essential services for Montana children and families by expanding access to healthcare for low-income patients, making record investments in public education, increasing funding for community mental health for youth in crisis, creating the Protect Montana Kids Commission, and expanding Montana’s No Kid Hungry initiative and Breakfast after the Bell programs.
This grant is administered by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and the State of Montana.