Joe Biden

Readout of White House Meeting on Child Care to Mark Black History Month

February 29, 2024

Today, Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, Director of the Gender Policy Council Jennifer Klein, and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Stephen Benjamin were joined by Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Representative Ayanna Pressley, and national leaders to celebrate the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to support Black children, families, and early educators during Black History Month.

Many Black families face significant challenges in affording child care—a typical, median-income Black family with two young children would have to spend 56 percent of their income on child care, a larger share than any other group. Furthermore, child care workers in low-paying jobs with few benefits are disproportionately Black. In the meeting, Directors Tanden and Klein reaffirmed President Biden's commitment to accessible, affordable, high-quality child care and reiterated the Administration's strong support for Congressional efforts to secure additional child care investments for hardworking families. Participants discussed the need for Congress to provide additional funding in the near-term, while underscoring the importance of working towards a long-term solution that ensures all families can access affordable, high-quality early care and education.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have prioritized tackling the structural issues negatively impacting the child care sector, including low wages for workers, high costs for families, and inadequate supply of high-quality care. The Administration has proposed transformational investments that would expand access to high-quality child care and preschool. And as American Rescue Plan funds dwindle, the President has also requested supplemental funding to sustain the child care sector and ensure support for more than 220,0000 child care providers serving more than 10 million kids. The President also signed an historic Executive Order in April 2023 directing nearly every cabinet-level agency to expand access to affordable, high-quality care and provide increased support for care workers and family caregivers. That EO has led to actions: including a proposal to raise annual wages for Head Start teachers by more than $10,000 on average and lowering child care costs for service members who receive care on military bases. Additionally, the White House hosted a White House States Convening on Child Care, gathering nearly 100 state legislators to discuss ways to improve child care governance, access, affordability, and the workforce.

Also today, Vice President Harris announced that the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule strengthening the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, lowering the cost of child care for working families and better supporting early educators.

Participants in today's meeting included:

  • Neera Tanden, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council
  • Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the Gender Policy Council
  • Stephen Benjamin, Assistant to the President, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement
  • Secretary Xavier Becerra, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley
  • Jocelyn Frye, President, National Partnership for Women and Families
  • Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO, National Women's Law Center
  • Melanie Campbell, President and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Convener, Black Women's Roundtable
  • Erica Phillips, Executive Director, National Association for Family Child Care
  • Portia Reddick White, Vice President, National Council of Negro Women
  • Dalia Thornton, Director of Research & Collective Bargaining, AFSCME
  • Susana O'Daniel, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, NEA

Joseph R. Biden, Readout of White House Meeting on Child Care to Mark Black History Month Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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