Department of Education & Youth

The Department of Education & Youth provides comprehensive school and recreational services to children and their families in Reykjavík. This includes preschools, primary schools, after-school programs, youth centers, school orchestras, and many other organizations across all city districts.

About the Department

All professional work in the upbringing and education of children and young people is based on the Education Policy of Reykjavík City titled 'Let Dreams Come True'. The Policy is based on the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The goal is to cultivate the personality, skills, and mental and physical abilities of each child. The purpose is to prepare children to live responsible lives in a free society fostered by understanding, peace, mutual respect, human rights, and friendliness.

Through robust school and recreational activities, children and young people gain education and experience to realize their dreams and have a positive impact on their environment and society.

The Department employs 6,115 staff members across approximately 4,671 full time positions.

The Department of Education & Youth under Reykjavík City includes about 170 workplaces:

  • 68 preschools- three integrated with primary schools, in addition to 17 privately run preschools. Altogether, they accommodate around 6,300 children. Roughly 400 children typically stay with about 125 day parents;
  • 38 primary schools and 6 private primary schools with about 15,440 students.
  • 37 after-school programs, of which five are integrated with primary schools, with a total of about 4,300 children.
  • 25 youth centers with about 130,000 registered visits per year, which include four special youth centers for disabled children.
  • 4 school orchestras where about 520 students learn to play instruments;
  • 1 music school integrated with a primary school, preschool, and recreational activities, besides which there are 18 music schools with service contracts with Reykjavík City.

The Department of Education & Youth serves a diverse society

  • Children in the city come from at least 97 nationalities and speak over 70 languages.
  • Nearly 3,000 primary school students receive instruction in Icelandic as a second language.
  • About 8% of preschool children and 25% of primary school students receive support or special education. About 7% of children in recreational activities receive special support. Moreover, there are four recreational clubs for disabled children.

Education Policy – Let Dreams Come True

The Education Policy of Reykjavík until 2030 is based on the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that the goal in children's education is to cultivate the personality, skills, and mental and physical abilities of each child. The Policy is in harmony with the national curriculum for preschools and primary schools, and existing policies of the Department of Education & Youth and Reykjavík City.

The Policy was shaped in collaboration with thousands of city residents, including children in preschools, primary schools, and recreational activities, parents, employees of the Department of Education and Youth, elected representatives, domestic and foreign advisors, and the general public.

Department of Education & Youth Office

The Department of Education & Youth's office is located at Höfðatorg, Borgartún 12-14. The office oversees policy formulation, development, and professional management of the diverse services and projects carried out by the Department, as well as administration for the School and Recreation Council meetings. The office includes School and Recreation offices in four city districts, the Education Innovation Center, the Center for Language and Literacy, the Outdoor Education Center, Mixtúra and other institutions dedicated to formal and informal learning of children and adolescents.

School and recreational services in districts

New laws on integrating services for children's well-being require new communication methods for providers of services to children and families. The implementation of the 'Better City for Children' project in all districts is a part of the changing methods. The focus is on strengthening the collaboration between the Department of Education & Youth and the Department of Welfare to harmonize and improve services to service users, children, adolescents, and their families. Additionally, the aim is to improve management and increase support for administrators and units of the Department of Education & Youth in districts using program directors for preschools and primary schools, as well as HR and financial advisors.

Statistics, research, and evaluation of school and recreational activities


The Director is Helgi Grímsson.

Organization Chart



Inquiries and requests can be sent by email to

The Department of Education & Youth is also on Facebook and Instagram.