From Iceland — Proposal To Shorten Playschool Hours: Directors Approve; Parents, Not So Much

Proposal To Shorten Playschool Hours: Directors Approve; Parents, Not So Much

Published January 21, 2020

Photo by
Julia Staples

As Reykjavík City Council prepares to shorten playschool hours, there appears to be considerable disparity between how playschool directors and parents are responding to the proposal.

The proposal, which has been approved by the Education and Youth Committee but still awaiting a final vote, would shorten playschool hours from 7:30 to 17:00 to 7:30 to 16:30. If approved, this would go into effect on April 1st. Parents and guardians can, however, file for an exception to this regulation, but would still have to abide the new hours by August 1st.

RÚV reports that there may be conflicting interests between playschool directors and parents on this issue.

Guðrún Jóna Thorarensen, director of the playschool Sólborg in Reykjavík, told reporters that she believes all playschool directors support the proposal, primarily as a means of relieving some of the pressure on playschool workers.

While these workers are paid little and work long hours, parents are concerned that shortening school hours is not the solution to the problem.

“This comes a bit suddenly, and is a big change that will be initiated quickly,” Hrefna Sigurjónsdóttir, the director of Home and School, told reporters, adding that it adds considerable stress for families.

As many parents with children in playschool work until 17:00, how this half hour between when their children finish playschool and when parents finish work is still an unanswered question. Further, labour unions have also been of the opinion that shortening playschool hours is not the solution to relieving the workload of these city workers.

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