Reports of daycares in Germany introducing ‘sexual exploration rooms’ for young children have sparked controversy and raised concerns among parents.
Multiple German outlets recently reported that two childcare locations in North Rhine-Westphalia are planning to have designated spaces where children may engage in sexual activities as part of their education.
This has caused a stir among many parents, who fear the potential implications such an environment could have on impressionable young minds.
Reports have surfaced that a daycare in Rheinberg is allowing children to engage in a controversial activity referred to as “doctor games.” During this activity, the young participants are encouraged to select one of their peers and then proceed to “explore” their bodies in an unspecified manner.
Although the daycare insists that these activities are intended to be conducted carefully, many parents are understandably concerned by what appears to be an inappropriate exercise for children of such a young age.
A similar initiative was reported by the German newspaper Bild earlier this year, in which a daycare center in Hanover informed parents about the “doctor games”.
“All children, especially preschoolers, are aware of the places in the facility where nudity and body exploration can take place,” the daycare expressed in a guidance statement.
“Each child decides for themselves whether and with whom they want to play physical and sexual games. Girls and boys pet and examine each other only as much as is comfortable for themselves and other children.”
Die Welt, a German newspaper, contacted the North Rhine-Westphalia children’s ministry to inquire about reports of sexual behavior taking place in daycares. However, they were informed that the ministry has no intention of intervening or contacting the daycares, as it is deemed impossible to prevent such behaviors from occurring amongst children.
Parents are voicing their concerns over the concept of “exploration rooms” recommended by Germany’s Pro Familia association for daycares.
“My daughter is five years old. I don’t want boys groping her,” he said. “I have another child in another daycare center [where] there is no such thing [as an exploration room].”
A spokesperson for the German Ministry of Education in Lower Saxony has responded to public outcry over a daycare initiative in Hanover which proposed that students engage in “doctor games.” The spokesperson agreed that “The educational concept in this form endangers the well-being of the child,” and subsequently, the daycare cancelled its plans.
Furthermore, it was revealed by management that the original letter informing parents about the practice was never approved by head office.