There’s no doubt that low-income parents — indeed, most new parents — could use a little guidance. In some countries, like France, that guidance is institutionalized. Nurse home visits for all pregnant and new mothers are routine and free of charge, sponsored by the government. In the U.S. the national Nurse-Family Partnership program (NFP) covers about 16,300 families living in poverty in 25 states, but President Obama has said he plans to expand the benefit, extending it to every first-time poor mother in the country — about 570,000 women each year. The President’s stimulus plan includes more than $3 billion in funding for early-childhood-intervention programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start.