Iceland:Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Iceland

Contents

Iceland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Iceland:Historical Development

Iceland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Iceland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Iceland:Political and Economic Situation

Iceland:Organisation and Governance

Iceland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Iceland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Iceland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Iceland:Organisation of Private Education

Iceland:National Qualifications Framework

Iceland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Iceland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Iceland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Iceland:Funding in Education

Iceland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Iceland:Higher Education Funding

Iceland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Iceland:Early Childhood Education and Care

Iceland:Organisation of Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Iceland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Iceland:Assessment in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Iceland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Iceland:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Iceland:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Iceland:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Iceland:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Iceland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Iceland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Iceland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Iceland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Iceland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Iceland:Organisation of Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Iceland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Iceland:Assessment in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Iceland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Iceland:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Iceland:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Iceland:Higher Education

Iceland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Iceland:First Cycle Programmes

Iceland:Bachelor

Iceland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Iceland:Second Cycle Programmes

Iceland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Iceland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Iceland:Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Distribution of Responsibilities

Iceland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Iceland:Main Providers

Iceland:Main Types of Provision

Iceland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Iceland:Teachers and Education Staff

Iceland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Iceland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Iceland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Iceland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Management and Other Education Staff

Iceland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Iceland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Iceland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Iceland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Quality Assurance

Iceland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Iceland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Educational Support and Guidance

Iceland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Iceland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Iceland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Iceland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Iceland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Iceland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Mobility in Higher Education

Iceland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Iceland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Iceland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Iceland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Iceland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Iceland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Iceland:National Reforms in School Education

Iceland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Iceland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Iceland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Iceland:European Perspective

Iceland:Legislation

Iceland:Institutions

Iceland:Bibliography

Iceland:Glossary

Pre-primary education is the first level of the Icelandic educational system. Pre-primary schools in Iceland all operate in accordance with the Pre-primary School Act and they all follow an educational programme, the National Curriculum Guide, issued by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Pre-primary education is not compulsory. 


Day care in private homes is also an option for young children but is not considered to be part of the educational system. Supervision of day care in private homes is controlled by the local authorities. 


The pre-primary school level is governed by the Pre-primary School Act of 2008. The Act's first article defines pre-primary schools as the first level of the educational system and under the Act, pre-primary schools are to provide education and care for children below the age at which compulsory education begins i.e. usually the year in which the child turns six years old. Children’s interests and welfare shall be the primary mission of all pre-primary school activities and learning through play shall be encouraged in a creative environment.


According to the Pre-primary School Act, the local municipalities are responsible for the operation of pre-primary schools. They are to establish and operate good pre-primary schools for children and manage the schools in accordance with the law. Furthermore their obligation is to organise specialist services for pre-primary schools i.e. to include support for pre-primary school children and their families, as well as support for the pre-primary school and its personnel. The municipalities can operate one specialist service for both pre-primary schools and compulsory schools.


Municipalities are also required to recruit pre-primary school education specialist to provide counselling and support to pre-primary schools regarding innovation and development in pre-primary school activities. They are to take care of monitoring pre-primary school operations and encourage cooperation between pre-primary schools as well as between pre-primary schools and other school levels. 


The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture supports experiments and development projects and formulates a National Curriculum Guide for pre-primary schools. The National Curriculum Guide sets out the aims that pre-primary schools are to follow and describes the basic means and attitudes that apply in the education of young children.

 

The Pre-primary School Act defines its main aim as follows:  

• to monitor and encourage children’s general development in close cooperation with parents 

• to provide systematic linguistic stimulation and contribute to common skills in the Icelandic language 

• to provide children with mental, intellectual and physical care according to the needs of each individual, so that they may enjoy their childhood 

• to encourage children’s broad-mindedness and strengthen their moral values 

• to lay the foundation necessary for children to become independent, autonomous, active and responsible participants in a democratic society which is undergoing rapid and continuous development 

• to cultivate children’s expressive and creative abilities with the aim of strengthening their self-esteem, health awareness, confidence and communication skills