This week, President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America—the nation’s leading voice for child care—released the following statement:
Child Care Aware® of America is pleased to see California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a leader with a track record in support of child care and early learning, nominated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, he would be the first Latino to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We look forward to more closely examining his record and urge the Senate to quickly consider his nomination to ensure that the country has a leader at the helm of one of our most critical agencies during this time of crisis.
Child care sits at the nexus of the health, well-being, economic security, and education of communities. Child care prepares and positions children and families for opportunities and successful outcomes. One of the most important ways the incoming Biden-Harris Administration can prioritize child care is through its personnel decisions—appointing leaders who reflect the diversity of our country and who understand the importance of child care to our society. CCAoA expects the Secretary of Health and Human Services to join us in support of our vision that every family in the United States has access to high-quality, affordable child care, and to demonstrate a commitment to equity in our child care and early learning systems and policy.
Becerra has a track record of support for child care and early learning. As a U.S. Representative, Becerra supported the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in 2014. CCDBG, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal program that provides child care assistance for families and funds child care quality initiatives. More recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Becerra joined state leaders in urging Congress to support at least $50 billion in child care relief.
CCAoA has joined child care advocates in urging a number of swift actions by the new administration, including investing in child care from Day One and prioritizing robustly staffing the relevant offices at the Department of Health and Human Services.