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What we're working on

The Health Care Authority (HCA) and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) are working together to create a healthier Washington where every child enters kindergarten with a solid foundation for success in school and life.

HCA and DCYF are:

  • Developing sustainable Medicaid financing for early childhood home visiting services.
  • Exploring ways to proactively align Medicaid and early childhood to address systems’ complexities and to leverage and maximize currently available resources.

    Medicaid and early childhood home visiting initiative

    Home visiting is generally recognized as a client-centered and responsive service that “supports positive parenting, improves maternal and child health, and promotes child development and school readiness.” Research shows that home visiting provides a positive return on investment, saving taxpayer dollars by reducing emergency room visits, child protective services, and special education needs.

    The HCA and DCYF are working to identify sustainable Medicaid funding for early childhood home visiting services. Both agencies operate under very different, complex federal and state funding mechanisms and requirements. This can cause additional operational burdens to providers. It can also make it hard for families to access services. A successful financing initiative must also proactively align the Medicaid and early childhood work in Washington State.

    The agencies began this work early in 2016. With strong legislative interest and support, HCA and DCYF conducted statewide stakeholder workshops in September 2018. Based on community input and discussion, HCA and DCYF are developing a joint funding proposal for the 2020 legislative session to fund home visiting services.

    Parenting is both joyful and stressful. We can help you find the tools you want and need. 

    Additional information on the home visiting initiative

    Aligning early childhood and Medicaid initiative (AECM)

    Washington State is participating in the Aligning Early Childhood and Medicaid (AECM) new multi-state initiative. Made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Health Care Strategies, the National Association of Medicaid Directors and ZERO TO THREE, the initiative aims to improve health and social outcomes for vulnerable infants, young children, and families through cross-agency collaboration. 

    Washington is focused on enhancing Medicaid alignment with maternal, infant and early childhood programs. The Health Care Authority and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) will jointly lead Washington's AECM efforts. Stay tuned for updates!

    Additional information on AECM