From Iceland — Toddlers Protest Pre-School Shortage at City Council Meeting

Toddlers Protest Pre-School Shortage at City Council Meeting

Published March 23, 2023

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There is a severe shortage of pre-school spaces for young children in Reykjavík, prompting parents to take their toddlers to a city council meeting Tuesday to highlight the issue, reports.

Among the toddlers present was 20-month-old Soffía Lára Stefánsdóttir, who made her voice heard. Like many others her age, she is still waiting to be offered admission at a pre-school in her Vesturbær neighbourhood. However, the situation there is so bad that her parents have applied to nurseries in other neighbourhoods, including Grafarvogur and Grafarholt, which are far from where they live. The situation is leaving many parents unsure of what will happen when their maternity leaves end, and many expect a significant loss of income.

According to Soffía Lára’s mother, Berglind, the situation is particularly challenging in Vesturbær. The local pre-school Grandaborg was closed last autumn due to sewer contamination, and fewer children are expected to attend until renovations are completed in autumn 2024.

Soffía Lára was born during a baby boom in Iceland and the number of spaces in city-run schools has failed to keep up with demand.

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