Who Could Benefit?

Early childhood home visiting provides support and connections that can benefit all pregnant and parenting families. Nationally, we estimate close to 18 million pregnant women and families are potential beneficiaries, including all pregnant women and families with children under 6 years old and not yet in kindergarten.

This broad estimate includes 16.7 million families with young children and 1.3 million pregnant women without young children, according to estimates from the American Community Survey (2013–2017). (Source: The 2013–2017 [American Community Survey](https://usa.ipums.org/usa/index.shtml) is the most recent 5-year file available at the time of analysis. The estimate of pregnant women is based on mothers with infants, with certain adjustments. See the [methodology section](https://live-nhvrc.pantheonsite.io/yearbook/2019-yearbook/methodology/) for more information on methods.)Go to footnote #>1

Many families have more than one child who could benefit from home visiting. If we estimate the number of individual children rather than families, we find 23.2 million children could potentially benefit from home visiting. This number includes—

3,800,000
infants
7,900,000
toddlers
11,500,000
preschoolers

Home visiting has great potential to improve the lives of all young children and families, yet limited resources restrict the number that receive services. As a result, most home visiting services are geared toward particular subpopulations, including families with infants, low-income families, young mothers, and expectant mothers.

Other priority populations include—

  • Single mothers
  • Parents with low education
  • Families with a history of substance abuse or child maltreatment
  • Children with developmental delays
  • Other families at risk of poor child outcomes

How Many Families and Children Fall Within the Priority Populations?

It is not possible to quantify some of these families in our estimates using the American Community Survey, which does not collect data on substance abuse, child maltreatment, or developmental delays. To account for this reality, the 2019 Home Visiting Yearbook contains estimates of two different types of data: (1) five potential targeted populations captured by the American Community Survey and (2) other maternal and child health indicators that commonly reflect child risk and/or child well-being. The charts featured on the Maternal and Child Health Data page provide national and state data for each indicator, followed by the definition of the indicator and applicable data source(s).

Photo of Catherine Mogil
Catherine Mogil UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Photo courtesy of Catherine Mogil

When a military parent deploys, there is a coming and going of an important relationship for the child. Absences during the child’s early years can thwart the stability of care routines and raise challenges for the parent at home, who transitions from coparenting to single parenting and back again. They may finally hit their stride responding to their child’s cues and now, all of a sudden, this other person comes back into their lives. Home visitors can help military families develop stable care routines that persist across deployment cycles and develop communication patterns that allow for an absent parent to remain salient in the everyday life of the child.