Research this program provides. With outsized benefits

Research shows that the experiences a child has during their first five years are critical. What happens from before birth through age five has a lasting impact on both health and a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and in life. Thus, one of the best investments we can make is in the well-being of infants, toddlers, pregnant women and new parents.  An example of the type of program that I would work to expand is The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which provides support to states that implement evidence-based early childhood home-visiting models.  Home visiting provides at-risk families with support from trained nurses, early childhood educators, social workers and other trained professionals to improve maternal and child health, reduce child abuse and neglect and improve parenting skills and the results are remarkable–improving maternal and child health and well being on a slate of key indicators.  However, funding is limited and today just a quarter million families have access to the transformational parenting support and investment in young children that this program provides.  With outsized benefits that last a lifetime, investments in early childhood—home visiting programs to universal early childhood education and beyond—are worthy of considerably more investment than we currently make.     We must reign in our military spending. The United States defense spending far outpaces that of the next seven largest military powers in the world, and is higher in real terms than any other time since World War II. Our country’s security depends upon domestic economic vitality. Unchecked military spending that balloons the federal deficit while forcing draconian cuts to social programs serves to make our country less safe. By rooting out abuse and inefficiencies; capitalizing on new technologies; diversifying our military capabilities; and strategically integrating diplomacy and foreign assistance, we can achieve U.S. interests abroad and promote national security without an additional 80 billion annually in discretionary spending on our military.