Nearly ten percent of children in playschool have a language other than Icelandic for a mother tongue, and that figure is increasing.
Vísir reports that according to Statistics Iceland, in December 2010, 1,815 children in the country’s playschools – or 9.6% of all playschool-aged children – had a language other than Icelandic as their primary language. Of those, 520 children spoke Polish as their mother tongue, which is up by 97 from the year previous.
Overall, the number of children in playschool has increased by 1.3% between December 2009 and 2010, to 18,691 today. There have never been as many children in playschool as there are now. At the same time, the number of children with special needs has decreased by 9.5%, to 1,232 children today.
Recent budget cuts to Reykjavík playschools has had many parents concerned that schools will not be able to meet the needs of their children. With the number of playschool-aged children on the rise – including those who might need assistance with learning Icelandic – these concerns will soon be put to the test.