Only 80 of the 307 required employees have been hired for Reykjavík after-school programs, which are open for three hours after the average school day ends, leaving about 2,000 six to nine-year-old students without care.
“This is very worrying and we have made it our priority to solve this problem,” Soffía Pálsdóttir, the office director of the Department of Sports and Leisure in Reykjavík (ÍTR), which operates the after-school programs, told Bladid. “It is probably a result of both the low salaries offered and the difficult working hours.”
Uncertified employees at after-school programs get about ISK 150,000 (USD 2,200, EUR 1,600) a month in net salary, while employees with a university degree get about ISK 200,000 (USD 2,900, EUR 2,200).
The situation is especially serious in Öskjuhlídarskóli, which is a special-needs school for disabled children. The school’s after-school program lacks 45 employees, about two thirds of the required staff.
“These children can’t be alone at home, but we are forced to reject their application for a slot in the center until we are able to staff all positions,” said Katrín Thórdís Jacobsen, director of ÍTR’s division for activities for disabled children.