(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to increase subsidies to parents of young children and expand access to early childhood education, describing child care as an burden on young workers.

"It's time that we stop treating child care as a side issue, or as a quote-unquote women's issue, this is a family issue," Obama said on Thursday at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. "This is a national economic priority for all of us."

Obama spoke to a crowd of 7,100 at a football practice facility at the school, the second of two stops in Republican-dominated states to follow up on the themes of his State of the Union address on Tuesday. In the final two years of his presidency, Obama is focusing on closing the income gap and presenting it as a bipartisan issue.

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