Newsom’s decision to appoint Harris is a sign that he is trying to keep his campaign promises to invest in California’s early education and child-care programs and workforce. His state is already a leader in this field but, as Jenny Anderson writes in Quartz, Newsom has committed to “an aggressive early childhood agenda” with an approach that supports underprivileged and working parents.

Harris could be a crucial part of that effort. In 2018, she told The New York Times, “We need a national public campaign about toxic stress. We need to be shouting this from the rooftops.” As California’s first surgeon general, she will have a very large rooftop indeed.

Read more from our series on Rewiring Childhood. This reporting is part of a series supported by a grant from the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The author’s views are not necessarily those of the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

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