La sauvegarde de la sécurité nationale par l’éducation

WASHINGTON, DC – De l’émergence de l’État islamique aux visées expansionnistes de la Russie et à l’essor de la Chine, les défis posés à la sécurité nationale des Etats-Unis ne manquent pas. Mais comme le démontre un rapport publié récemment (Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable WagesUn travail louable, mais des salaires toujours indigents), la menace potentielle la plus grave pour l’avenir des Etats-Unis est l’incapacité du pays à fournir une éducation et des soins adéquats aux enfants de moins de cinq ans.

Si les très jeunes enfants ne bénéficient pas de l’attention d’éducateurs qualifiés qui savent comment stimuler et façonner le développement des fonctions cérébrales, la prochaine génération d’Américains souffrira d’un taux de réussite en déclin constant par rapport à leurs contreparties des pays avancés et des pays émergents concurrents. Et pourtant les Américains ne payent pas mieux ces professionnels qualifiés qu’ils ne payent ceux qui garent leur voiture, promènent leur chien, préparent leurs hamburgers ou leurs cocktails. L’implication est claire : les enfants américains ne méritent pas une attention plus assidue que des animaux ou des objets inanimés.

C’est une grave erreur. Les soins prodigués durant la petite enfance forgent les capacités d’apprentissage, de résilience émotionnelle, de confiance et d’indépendance d’une personne pour le reste de sa vie. En fait, la garde d'enfants et l'éducation préscolaire de qualité, durant les cinq premières années de la vie, ont une plus grande influence sur le développement des individus que tout autre intervention ultérieure.

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