All teachers for all school phases now undertake five-year master’s level initial training. The law in Iceland requires a 180-credit bachelor’s degree and a 120-credit master’s degree to gain a licence to teach in pre-schools. Act no 87/2008 on Education and Appointment of Teachers and Principlas in Preschool, Elementary School and Upper-Secondary School states that educated preschool teachers should account for at least two-thirds of the staff. This is however, quite far from the truth, but the proportion of licensed teachers in pre-schools was under one-third. The number of non-licenced teacher is therefore high. It varies but in 2016 the landscape presented the following picture: unskilled staff (around 2,700), and around 1,700 pre-school teachers (including those who are part-time) and 990 staff members have other educational training (Statistics Iceland, 2016).
All pre-school practitioners who work with the children, whether core-practitioners (pre-school teachers), practitioners with other qualifications, or staff with no education, work under the job description of core-practitioners. While regulation states that all pre-school staff who work with the children must have finished pre-school teachers' education (ISCED 7), staff with other qualifications or staff with no formal education may be hired if circumstances so dictate.