Berlin day care centres to fingerprint parents

Seventeen day care centres from by the Lutheran Church in Berlin are considering requiring parents or designated caregivers to have their fingerprints scanned before they can pick up their kids.

Berlin day care centres to fingerprint parents
The brave new world of day care? - Photo: DPA

Kathrin Janert, the managing director of the Lutheran Day Care Centre Association in Berlin-Schöneberg, told radio broadcaster RBB-Welle on Monday that the programme would allow the church-run centres to know they were putting children in safe hands.

If the program is adopted, parents dropping children off at the day care centres in the future will lay a finger on a scanner to record their action. To pick up their children, parents must be scanned again to verify their identity – no fingerprint match, no child.

The association wants to conduct a three-month test run in one central Berlin centre, the Zions-Kita, where some 85 children are registered. If the program there is a success, it will be implemented in the 16 other centres run by the church in Berlin.

Janert said the program would only be implemented if a majority of parents with children at the centre were in favor. The centres are planning a large meeting for parents in December to explain the the program and address privacy concerns.

She said that fingerprint records would be referenced to a child’s first name only, or to a first name and last initial if more than one child had the same first name. The information would be deleted after one week.

“It is not in our interest to save this data or use it for other purposes,” she said.