With the authorization of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative expiring tomorrow, September 30, Congress will miss the deadline for extending these critical programs. Unfortunately, this lapse in funding could put many programs at-risk of closing and deny children access to health insurance.
While congressional leaders claim there is enough funding available for both programs through the remainder of the year, it's imperative that they pass legislation as soon as possible to ensure that children continue to receive access to quality health and education services. Earlier this week, the House passed a bill reauthorizing MIECHV for five years, and a Senate measure sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will be considered soon. MIECHV is funded at $400 million annually.
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) recently introduced a measure that would extend CHIP for five years, with the hope of the Senate voting on it sometime next month. Currently, nine million children rely on CHIP assistance.
Child Care Aware® of America urges Congress to reauthorize CHIP and MIECHV immediately to ensure that families continue to receive these critical resources, and to continue to support quality programming.