Every tenth child in Reykjavík daycare is of foreign decent reports news station NFS.
According to a survey of Reykjavík’s day care centers, 430 children, or 10% of the children, are of foreign decent. These children come from 82 countries. One of the most global day care centers in Reykjavík is Fellaborg, in Breidholt, where half of the 50 children are of foreign decent. The children in Fellaborg are from 11 countries.
NFS reports that because of this development the City of Reykjavík introduced a multicultural policy for Reykjavík’s day care centers announced yesterday. The objective is to minimize the chance that the immigrant children will drop out of the school system later on in life. NFS quotes Stefán Jón Hafstein, director of the Education Committee of Reykjavík, saying that measures taken at the early stages in the education system should prevent difficulties later on.
The city’s multi-cultural policy introduced in 2001 states that its guiding principle is “that the community of Reykjavík enjoy social and cultural diversity, where knowledge, tolerance, equal rights and mutual respect characterize the relations between people of different origins.”
The city’s 2001 – 2004 preschool policy included the following:
1. Promote and improve services to and collaboration with foreign parents
2. Improve staff ability to teach Icelandic as a second language
3. Promote active bilingualism of children of foreign origin
4. Define standards with regard to appointment of foreign applicants, ensure professional standards of appointments and reception, and promote job security of foreign staff.
5. Improve record-keeping regarding foreign children in playschool.
6. To make use of the cultural diversity existing in the preschool.