Michigan hopes to do a better job taking care of infants and toddlers thanks to new federal funding.

The Michigan Department of Community Health Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program recently received $14.4 million  from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"This expansion grant is Michigan’s opportunity to further support prevention-focused home visiting in a number of at-risk Michigan communities," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "Expanding Michigan’s home visiting efforts is one of the key strategies identified in the effort to reduce our infant mortality rates. We know that this program works at improving school readiness, and decreasing child mistreatment which is vital to ensuring our children have the right start in life."

The Health Department's Angela Minnicucci tells WOOD Radio Muskegon and Kent Counties are two of the areas being expanded.

"Those are areas where we can use expanded home visiting efforts. That is what we will potentially be using these increased funds for."

Minnicucci says the programs will help reduce infant mortality, improve school grades and possible reduce child abuse.