Preschool (also known as nursery school) is the first formal level in the Icelandic education system. Preschools are designated for children from as young as 9 months through 6 years old. Children are not required to attend preschool, but in Iceland, over 95% of all children do and often there are waiting lists to get into preschools. You can read about preschools on island.is.
Parents apply to register their children in a preschool with the municipality where they have legal residence. Websites for education and family services in the municipalities provide information about registration and pricing. Information about preschools is accessible through local education authorities or the preschool websites.
There are no restrictions, other than age, for registering a child in preschool.
Preschools are operated in most instances by the local authorities but can also be privately operated. The cost for preschool tuition is subsidised by local authorities and varies between municipalities. Preschools follow the Icelandic national curriculum guide. Each preschool will additionally have its own curriculum and educational/developmental emphasis.
Education for the disabled
If a child has a mental and/or physical disability or developmental delays, they are often offered priority to attend preschool, where they are offered support at no additional cost to parents.
- Disabled children are entitled to nursery school attendance and primary schooling in the municipality in which they have legal residence.
- Disabled students in secondary schools shall, according to the law, have access to specialist assistance.
- The disabled have access to a variety of training and education opportunities in order to increase their quality of life and general life skills.
Find more information about education for people with disabilities here.
- First level of education - island.is
- Icelandic national curriculum guide
- Ministry of Education and Children
Children are not required to attend preschool, but in Iceland, over 95% of all children do.