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Daycare in private homes

When maternity/paternity leave ends and the parents return to the labour market or begin studying, they need to find appropriate care for their child.

Most population centres in Iceland have childminders offering their services, and nursery schools are operated by local communities or individuals working in cooperation with those communities.

Day care means childcare between the hours of 7am and 7pm on working days in the private homes of childminders.

Different rules apply in different communities regarding subsidies for day care in private homes. Most local communities subsidise day care if a child stays with a childminder a minimum of four hours and up to eight hours every day. Any extra time must be paid in full by the parent. Subsidy applications are made through the websites of the local communities.

In some local communities parents can apply for payments after their maternity/paternity leave, irrespective of whether the child stays with a childminder or is taken care of by a parent at home. Generally, these payments cease when the child enters nursery school, but this varies depending on the local community.

Parents are expected to pay attention to the childminder's circumstances, including the number of children in care, fire prevention, areas for outdoor activities and playgrounds. Parents must also inform childminders about their child's daily habits, health and any changes in circumstances.

If it is essential for a parent to place a child with a particular childminder, the parent may do so with sufficient notice. A notice period of up to one year is not uncommon.


Lists of available childminders and information on them are available on local community websites.

Get information about a childminder's childcare circumstances and facilities. The childminder price list is unregulated.

Find out about rules for day-care fee subsidies through local community websites.

Inform the childminder about the child's daily habits, health and any changes in circumstances.

Apply for a nursery school placement in the local community where the child is domiciled.

Find out about rules concerning nursery schools, as these may vary between communities, including:

  • when you can apply for a placement in a nursery school for your child and when you can expect to get a place for the child,

  • nursery school price lists, subsidies and other discounts,

  • how to give notice of changes to a child's circumstances.

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