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The day care center - a safe place

Active against sexual abuse: protection concepts ensure safety in daycare centers.
Output: 03/2018text Kathrin Hedtkeillustration shutterstock / ankomando

The trigger is often an uneasy feeling. An educator observes a strange situation in the day care center or discovers that a child is behaving differently than usual. "The educational specialists are very close to the children," says Inga Hansen from the PETZE Institute for Violence Prevention in Kiel. “You often notice quickly when something is wrong.” But when sexual abuse is suspected, there is great uncertainty.



  • Every daycare center needs a protection concept
  • It offers security to the children
  • It helps the educational professionals to behave properly
  • Call in the team and external experts for the concept


The legal side is clear: since 2012, the Federal Child Protection Act has stipulated that all child and youth welfare institutions must take specific protective measures. The goal: daycare centers and other care facilities should be a safe place for children. One requirement is the development of protection concepts. These are intended to help educational professionals to behave correctly in such difficult situations.

Protection concepts

The protection concepts are a consequence of abuse scandals in institutions such as the Odenwald School. The Federal Child Protection Act requires that the facilities reduce the risk of becoming a crime scene of sexual violence through various measures. In addition, daycare centers should be so competent on the topic that they can help children even if they are affected by abuse in the family, for example.

The eighth social code in the Child and Youth Welfare Act also stipulates a mandate to act in the event of a child's well-being. "But protection concepts are about a lot more," emphasizes Ulli Freund, a member of the workforce of the Federal Government's Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues (UBSKM). For example, prevention plays a major role. And the focus is clearly on sexual violence. "That makes a lot of sense," says Marlena Beckmann from the Wagemut advice center in Flensburg. In contrast to other forms of child welfare endangerment - such as neglect or abuse - sexual abuse has a completely different dynamic. “Such an act is usually planned. The children's trust is abused and they are often pressured not to reveal anything to anyone. "

Use existing modules

According to the Federal Child Protection Act, every daycare center needs its own protection concept. The experts advise first of all to take stock: What types of cooperation with specialist counseling centers already exist, what prevention concepts? There are many building blocks in the daycare centers, says Ulli Freund. They just need to be put together and improved in one place or another. "Many institutions are already quite far."

It is very important that the team is involved. "Such a protection concept has to be lived," emphasizes Marlena Beckmann. "Otherwise there is a risk that it will only end up in the folder on the shelf." With the code of conduct, for example, it is important to jointly define how to deal with proximity and distance. Is it allowed to kiss children? To photograph you naked? Do you want to close doors while swaddling? Very important: These rules apply to everyone, including women, says Inga Hansen from PETZE. In most cases, male educators in particular are viewed with suspicion. A general suspicion is just as wrong as assuming that there are no female perpetrators.

Protection concepts, explains Ulli Freund, make daycare centers safer and more professional. It is advisable for all facilities to seek help. Specialist advice centers such as PETZE and Wagemut offer support. The experts are convinced that the effort is worth it. “Many daycare centers are afraid of not reacting properly in an emergency,” says Inga Hansen. "They experience the work on the protection concept as a relief rather than a burden."



Mission statement: Establish responsibility for prevention.
Code of Conduct: How much closeness is allowed? Respect children's boundaries, set rules for high-risk situations.
Contact Person designate for child protection.
Advanced training: Invite external speakers, use offers from the youth welfare office.
Prevention offers For children and parents: In day-to-day day-to-day care, it should be thematized and lived that a no is accepted and that getting help is not a mistake.
Participation and complaint procedures for children: Children are included in decisions and are allowed to say if they don't like something. That strengthens self-confidence.
Emergency plan: Meeting in the team, conversation with the Kita management or provider. When should the youth welfare office and the police be involved?
Cooperations with external specialist advice centers, youth welfare offices, etc.


  • Protection concept of the day care centers of the community Henstedt- Ulzburg:, search term: "Protection concept of the day care centers"
  • Protection concept of the daycare centers of the Pestalozzi Foundation Hamburg:> Services



Initiative "No Room for Abuse"

On the homepage of the initiative of the Federal Government's Independent Commissioner for Issues of Child Sexual Abuse, there are free materials for daycare centers on protection concepts.

Sexual abuse helpline:
0800 / 22 55 530

Nationwide, free and anonymous contact point for victims of sexual violence, for relatives and people from the social environment of
Children, for professionals and for everyone interested.

Sexual Abuse Help Portal

The portal informs those affected, their relatives and other people who want to support them. The nationwide database shows where help is available in one's own region.