Preschools should lay the groundwork for developing children’s skills in the Icelandic language and introduce them to Icelandic society. Preschool staff should also encourage and support parents in their efforts to maintain their child’s mother tongue and provide opportunities for all children to become proud and build on their cultural background and knowledge.
It is important that parents support the child in developing language abilities, Icelandic as well as the mother tongue, cultural understanding and social participation. In order to ensure a successful integration parents and schools need to work closely together. The organization Móðurmál supports parents and provides teaching in various languages for young children.
On the site www.allirmed.is you can find many ideas on how schools can work with diversity and multicultural environment and thereby give all parents as good support as possible.
Counselling for immigrants
The human rights office at the Reykjavik City hall offers counselling about municipal services. Four consultants, speaking English, Polish and Arabic, provide this consultation. If you speak other languages you can ask for an interpreter.
Parents are welcome to contact the human rights office, the aid is free and confidential. For further information call 411 4155 (English). 411 1140 (Polish). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Polish speaking language support
Magdalena Elísabet Andrésdóttir supports polish-speaking pre-school children and their families. Pre-schools and parents can request Magdalene's assistance to support care and the learning environment. For further information send e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frida B. Jónsdóttir is a leading consultant for multicultural preschool.
18% of pre-school children in Reykjavík City have one or both parents with immigrant background. It is therefore of great importance that early childhood education reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity in society. The contribution from these children and their families enriches the school work in various ways and creates opportunities for others to learn about different cultures and languages.
The City of Reykjavík has issued a policy on multicultural education and leisure for preschools, elementary schools and afterschool activities. The main goal is to provide multicultural and various teaching and learning practices for all children, active bilingualism where children sustain and develop their home language while learning Icelandic as a second language. Also to ensure close partnership with parents where cultural and linguistic diversity is recognized, built on and valued.