There were over 19 thousand children attending pre-primary schools in Iceland in December 2017. The proportion of children attending pre-primary school is unchanged from the previous year or 87%, when looking at 1-5 year olds.

In total, 97% of 3-5 year olds attended pre-primary school, 95% of two year olds and 47% of one year old children. The proportion of one year olds in pre-primary schools varies greatly by region. In the East, 69% of one year old children attended pre-primary school and 68% in the Westfjords. The proportion of one year old children was lowest in the Southwest, 11%.

Little more than 1,800 children received special support
In December 2017, 1,836 children received special support because of a handicap, social or emotional difficulties, a total of 9.7% of all pre-school children, the same percentage as last year. As in previous years boys were more numerous among children receiving support; 1,174 boys and 662 girls.

Fewer licenced preschool teachers
In December 2017 there were 6,018 staff members working in pre-primary schools, 111 more (1.9%) than in 2016. The number of full-time equivalent increased by 1.9% and was 5,289.

At the same time there were 1,622 licenced pre-primary school teachers in pre-primary schools in Iceland, 29.2% of staff working in education and childcare. Their number has decreased by 338 from 2013, when their number was greatest. The number of staff with other pedagogical education was 1,105, e.g. compulsory school teachers, social pedagogues, staff with a diploma in pre-primary education and assistant pre-school teachers. Unskilled staff was more than one-half (50.9%) of staff working in education and childcare in December 2017.

More preschool teachers are older than fifty
The age shift of pre-school teachers has changed in the past years and now teachers aged 50 and over are a larger part of the teachers group. By 2017 they were 42% of pre-school teachers, but 26% ten years prior. In the same way, pre-school teachers under the age of fifty have decreased, not only by ratio, but also in number. A little fewer than 900 pre-school teachers aged 30-49 were in pre-primary schools in 2017, but 1,142 when their number peaked in 2009.

More than 250 pre-primary schools
There were 254 pre-primary schools operating in Iceland in December 2017, the same number as the year before. A total of 212 schools were operated by the municipalities, one fewer than in the previous year, while 42 schools were run by others, one more than in 2016. The number of pre-primary schools was greatest in 2009, when there were 282 schools operating.