Nothing is more vital to the future of our country than the health and well-being of our children. Each year on Child Health Day, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that every American child has equal access to health care, child care and education. quality and affordable so that it can flourish and reach its full potential.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound negative impact on the health and well-being of our nation’s children. A year of isolation from friends, extended family and daily activities due to school closures and distance learning, as well as the loss of loved ones to the pandemic, has had an impact tremendous impact on their mental health – and caused significant learning loss that can never be fully repaired. Families are also finding it harder to support their children during the pandemic, with many struggling to afford expenses such as food, rent, health care and transportation. And as scientists rigorously and independently examine COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12, too many of our children returning to school – and the families they return to after graduation every school day – face unnecessary risks as there are no universal masking policies.
We owe it to our children to do everything in our power to promote their healthy and safe development. Because our nation’s schools play such a vital role in protecting the health and well-being of our children, my administration has made it its top priority to ensure that all students have access to in-person instruction at full time so that they can achieve their highest aspirations. My US bailout continues to work for schools, including $ 130 billion to ensure every child can safely access full-time in-person education and that schools can mitigate the risk of COVID-19 by class. My administration is committed to supporting school health programs, which is why my US bailout is also providing states and school districts with billions of dollars for schools to hire nurses, counselors, workers. social and more to meet student needs, allowing teachers to stay focused on teaching. To further support children’s academic success, I strongly encourage families to visit their pediatricians for visits and vaccinations of healthy children, including the COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 and older.
My American Rescue Plan also provides essential resources to address children’s mental health needs, including $ 1.5 billion to support the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, which provides much-needed services to children with severe emotional disorders. The law also provides $ 20 million to support youth suicide prevention and $ 30 million to expand the AWARE project, which supports wellness and resilience programs in educational settings. It invested $ 80 million to expand the Access to Pediatric Mental Health Care Program, which provides telehealth services to children and adolescents with mental health issues identified during routine visits, making health care more accessible nationally, including for young people in tribal and remote areas.
In addition, the American Rescue Plan continues to provide pandemic relief to families with a $ 150 million investment in the Mothers, Infants and Early Years Home Visiting Program to improve the maternal and child health. The law also provides funding to support families with essential emergency supplies, including diapers, food, water and hand sanitizer. Finally, the American Rescue Plan cuts health insurance premiums for millions of Americans, allowing us to nearly halve child poverty in America.
We need to invest in the healthy development of all of our children – and that means helping parents with the costs of raising a family. That’s why my administration has worked hard to expand the Child Tax Credit, which puts money straight into the pockets of families with children each month to help pay for food, rent, a new pair of shoes. for kids or whatever working parents need.
On Healthy Child Day, we make a renewed commitment to ensuring that our children can live long and healthy lives. Together, we can help all the children of our nation stay healthy and learn, develop and grow to reach their full potential.
Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 18, 1928, as amended (36 USC 105), called for the designation of the first Monday in October as Child Health Day and asked the President to issue a proclamation on the occasion of this day. .
THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by authority conferred on me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, hereby proclaim Monday the 4th October 2021, as Child Health Day. I call on families, child health professionals, faith-based and community organizations, and governments to help ensure American children stay safe and healthy.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have appended my signature this first day of October, in the year of grace two thousand and twenty-one, and of independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and forty-six.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.