Early Child Development Programs Receive Grants

The Fayette County Health Department has been awarded $247,500 in federal funding to provide evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy, and to parents with young children in Fayette County who are at risk for poor birth or developmental outcomes. 

A combined $132,000 in federal funding has been awarded to "R.E.A.C.H. for Tomorrow," the Pike County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the Highland Board of Developmental Disabilities.

The funding was awarded by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) from a $7.5 million federal grant received from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant targets communities with high rates of infant mortality, poor birth and child developmental outcomes, high occurrences of teen pregnancy, and families living in poverty. 

Ohio’s home visiting program, called “Help Me Grow,” is administered by ODH, and home visiting services are provided locally through a statewide network of local implementing agencies. Local implementing agencies provide expectant and new parents with information and support in the comfort of their homes. Social workers, nurses, or other early childhood professionals meet regularly with at-risk pregnant women and their families to provide the support, education and resources needed to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. 

“Research shows that evidenced-based home visiting improves birth outcomes and can help reduce infant mortality,” said ODH Director Lance Himes. “These home visits also help improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect, and connect families with needed supports and resources in their communities.

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