Johnson calls for mothers on welfare to staff child centers

March 16, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson on Tuesday called for mothers receiving public assistance to help other mothers by staffing the child care centers attending to their children.

The Republican incumbent made the comment at a telephone town hall meeting, repeating a similar statement he made in 2016, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Wisconsin law prohibits state subsidy payments from going to a certified child care provider where an employee’s child receives care. The law restricting eligible recipients of child care subsidies was enacted after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2009 discovered day care providers collecting subsidies while watching other each other’s children.

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“When you have mothers on different kinds of public assistance, to me, an elegant solution would be, why don’t we have them help staff child care for other mothers?” Johnson said, calling it an “imaginative solution” to staffing shortages at child care centers across the country.

Johnson added that that idea hadn’t been explored yet, and said there are issues with it.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Godlewski said in response, “We have a full-blown child care crisis and a record number of moms getting knocked out of the workforce. There are commonsense solutions to these problems, but Ron Johnson’s ‘imaginative’ idea would punish moms and drag us back to the 1950s. I have news for this guy: We’re not going back.”