Daycare & Schooling
Childcare is subsidized by the government and available to children from the age of one, it is significantly cheaper from the age of two when children can attend preschool and free after the age of six when most children start primary school. Education is free in Iceland, even at the university-level although there are also private options which charge tuition fees. Learn more about education in Iceland.
Education in Reykjavik Notice the options in the sidebar on the right.
Education in Kópavogur
Education in Hafnarfjörður Information about schooling is only available in Icelandic, choose “Íbúar”, then “Skólar og börn”.
Education in Mosfellsbær Only available in Icelandic.
Education in Garðabær
Education in Akureyri - More information about education in Akureyri
Education in Egilsstaðir
Schooling in Iceland is free after the age of six but childcare is available from the age of one, with daycare services provided by “day-parents” (is. Dagforeldri, dagmamma). It is subsidized but still costs about 70,000 ISK per month (including food and nappies), the exact price will depend on the specific daycare provider you choose and varies between neighbourhoods. It is important to apply for daycare well in advance since there are often long waiting lists, you are allowed to choose the one that you like the best and can ask to visit the facility before committing.
Kindergarten is available to all children from the age of two until they start primary school at six-years old. Some kindergartens accept children from the age of one. Kindergarten is cheaper than a dayparent but the exact price depends on which city or municipality you live in. You can expect it to be between 25,000 – 35,000 ISK per month for 8 hours a day, five days a week (including food). Children can stay at kindergartens between 4 and 9,5 hours per day, it is up to the parents. There is a discount for siblings. Placing your child in a kindergarten is optional, mandatory schooling starts at six years old. There are waiting lists so it is recommended that you apply in advance, on your municipal website.
Primary school is mandatory in Iceland from ages six to sixteen. It is free and usually includes lunch but you may be charged for extra snacks and fruit. The language of teaching is Icelandic although there are English and Danish lessons as part of the curriculum. Students study all subjects during primary school, and choose their specialisation in secondary school instead. You will apply for schooling on your municipal website. Home-schooling is not allowed.
Schooling hours depend on the age of the child, when they start school, their official schoolday will end at around one PM. However, there are also after school centres for 6-9 year olds where the child can stay until 5 PM depending on the parents wishes. These charge a subsidized sum and are very popular.
Schooling in English
There are two English-language schools in the capital area, the International School and Landakotsskóli. They both charge tuition. The International School offers places at both the kindergarten and primary school level and is situated in Garðabær. Landakotsskóli is situated in the postal area 107 Reykjavik, near downtown.
There are many secondary schools in Iceland. Most of them offer three-year graduation track after primary school. These are either vocational schools, or preparation for further studies at university level. These are not mandatory, but most young adults choose to attend secondary school, often one that fits their interests best and others the one that is in their neighbourhood or where there friends plan to attend. This level of schooling is not compulsory and it is possible to learn either subjects which prepare you for university, picking a specialisation such as sciences, languages or sociology; or a practical specialisation that will prepare you for a certain job, for example to be a chef, tour guide, musician, mechanic or plumber.
Here is a list of all secondary schools in Iceland They are organised by which part of the country they are in, “Landshluti” and “Höfuðborgarsvæðið” means the capital region.
The only English language speaking programme is the IB programme which takes two years and is standardized internationally.
There are seven universities in Iceland and about 5% of the students are foreigners. Attendance is usually not mandatory and the school fees depend on the institution, with most being free or only charging an administrative fee.