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In the message he issued along with his budget proposal on Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama said he wants to see 4-year-old children in the United States enrolled in public schools.

Obama said America needs to start enrolling 4-year-olds to make sure the children are “better prepared for the demands of the global economy” and to help parents save on “child-care costs.”

After saying the United States needs to “equip our citizens with the skills and training” to fill jobs in manufacturing, energy and infrastructure, Obama said, “And that has to start at the earliest possible age.”

Too few American 4-year-olds are enrolled in school, the president argued.

“But today, fewer than 3 in 10 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program, and the high cost of private preschool puts too much of a financial burden on middle class families,” he said.

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