As chair of the Maine Children’s Trust, I want to thank Sen. Susan Collins for her work to secure federal funding that will double investments in the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program over the course of the next five years.

Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting funding supports the Maine Families Home Visiting Program, a voluntary program available in every county in Maine. Family visitors and families develop strong relationships and trust through meeting regularly and addressing families’ needs during the critical period of pregnancy and birth to age 3. Family visitors help ensure safe home environments; promote healthy growth and development for infants and toddlers, and provide parents with key connections to needed services. The family visitors empower parents with skills, tools and confidence to nurture the healthy growth of their baby.

Now in its 22nd year, Maine Families remains one of the state’s most critical cost-saving investments to improve childhood health and learning outcomes; prevent child abuse and neglect; enhance future productivity, and reduce future demand on tax-supported services. Not only has this program helped to strengthen families, it has also lowered health care costs; reduced the need for costly remedial education for children, and helped families become more self-sufficient.

Maine Families improves the lives of our youngest and most at-risk citizens and helps support their parents to give their children a healthy and nurturing start. We are grateful to Sen. Collins for her hard work and leadership in support of children and families in Maine.

Ben Gilman
chair, board of directors, Maine Children’s Trust

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