Árelía Eydís Guðmundsdóttir, director of the Council for Education and Recreation for Reykjavík City, has stated in a recent interview with RÚV that this will be a “difficult year.”
Last week, registration for preschool in Reykjavík opened for next year. Of the applicants, some 1,500 children will be placed, but more than 500 remain on the waitlist.
In Focus: The Preschool System
On the news programme Kastljós, Árelía ensured Reykjavík parents that children born in February 2022 and before would be guaranteed spaces at a preschool.
In the last election cycle for Reykjavík City Council, campaign promises were made that would guarantee children a spot in preschool from the age of 12 months. This has not yet been the case, with staffing shortages and long wait lists being a problem last year as well.
Preschool Staffing Shortage Leaves 90 Positions Unfilled
Árelía did not say exactly how many children would be without placements this year, but expressed her hopes to “empty the waitlist” as much as possible.
Other Reykjavík City Councillors have also called for increased funding to the preschool system, such as Independence Party representative Ragnhildur Alda Vilhjálmsdóttir.
For the past 15 years, around 1,000 children throughout Iceland have been without preschool or daycare every year.
Exacerbating the situation has been a recent decrease in the number of preschool workers, with many positions left unfilled.
On Kastljós, Árelía stated: “This will be a difficult year. There is no magic solution, but we are working to improve the situation.”