Opportunities and challenges in icelandic early childhood education

Johanna Einarsdottir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The chapter examines early childhood education and care in Iceland within the framework of Nordic ideology. Values evident in the Icelandic national curriculum are analyzed, and the results of studies on the views of children, parents, and playschool teachers regarding the aims and practices of Icelandic playschools are presented. The findings illustrate democracy, well-being, care, and interpersonal relationships as the main emphases. Children are regarded as active participants, and an emphasis is placed on lived democracy in the playschool as well as on educating children to become democratic citizens. Playschool is considered an important space for practicing interaction with other people, and the responsibility of adults is to create caring relationships and to provide support. Several challenges face Icelandic early childhood education and care today. In an era of increasing globalization, Iceland is faced with academic pushes and pressures to increase accountability. In addition, the society is moving from a homogeneous one to becoming multicultural. Furthermore, there is a shortage of educated playschool teachers and a gap between the parental leave and the time when children may start playschool. These challenges have the potential to become a threat to the Nordic tradition in early childhood education and care in Iceland.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
ISSN (Print)2468-8746
ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017.

Other keywords

  • Early Childhood
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Program
  • Nordic Country
  • Parental Leave


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