Every child deserves to be safe and loved—anchored in a supportive family, a welcoming community, and a nation dedicated to their education, health, safety, and well-being. On National Children’s Day, we renew our commitment to making America the best place in the world to grow up.
America’s youngest generation will be the most educated, accomplished, and tolerant in our history. Across the country, children study hard, model kindness and compassion, and make their voices heard on today’s biggest issues—from climate change to human rights, healthcare to gun violence, and racial justice to immigration. America’s youth makes me more optimistic than ever about this nation’s future, and I know that by investing in its success today, we can build a more prosperous, safer, and just world tomorrow.
That’s why, early in my presidency, I signed the American Rescue Plan, which provides $130 billion to K-12 public schools to help pay teachers’ salaries, fund renovations, and new after-school and summer tuition programs to start. During my first year in office, preschools, elementary schools and high schools hired a record 279,000 new educators, and nearly every single school that closed at the height of the pandemic is now back in service. To continue this progress and ensure that no child’s future is limited by the neighborhood they grow up in, I call on Congress to increase funding for historically neglected Title I schools that serve children from low-income families more than to double.
At the same time, our American Rescue Plan extended health coverage to over one million children and reduced child poverty by nearly 50 percent. I’ve addressed the youth mental health crisis by making it easier for children across America to get support from their pediatric offices and helping schools hire more counselors and social workers. I’ve secured funding through our bipartisan infrastructure bill to replace lead plumbing across the country and ensure that no parent has to question the quality of the water coming out of a school’s drinking fountain.
As part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health that I convened this fall – the first in 50 years – we released a national strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases, beginning with expanding free school meals to 9 million more children by 2032. And during Pride Month this year, I signed an executive order to support LGBTQI+ children and families, who deserve the same dignity and respect as all Americans. This order addresses discriminatory legal attacks on LGBTQI+ people and youth, secures access to health care, prevents harmful so-called “conversion therapy” and addresses the mental health crisis of LGBTQI+ youth. I will also ensure that the United States continues to defend and fully implement the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, a law I have proudly supported that protects Native children and families in the welfare system and involves tribes in child welfare.
Additionally, to help keep children safe at home, in classrooms, and in childcare settings, my administration has rolled out COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months and older. I also took action against gun violence and signed historic legislation to keep firearms away from people who pose a threat to themselves and others—the first major bipartisan gun safety law in nearly 30 years. I will continue to urge Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and to support universal background checks because no student in this country should fear for their lives and no parent should worry about their child getting home safely from school.
America became a global leader because we invested in the well-being of our children and their families. We pioneered new medicines, improved nutrition, expanded educational opportunities for all children, and drastically reduced child mortality. Today we have another chance to build a future our nation can be proud of. By ensuring that every child in America receives a safe and supportive parenting, we can give our children the chance to be healthier, happier, and more successful than ever. For the good of the country and the world, this work cannot wait.
THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by power of authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, hereby declare November 20, 2022 as the nation state Children’s Day. I call on all government officials, educators, volunteers, and all people in the United States of America to mark this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have laid my hand upon it this eighteenth of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-two and of the independence of the United States of America on the two hundred and forty-seventh.
JOSEPH R BIDEN JR