Keeping Preschools Open During Covid-19: The Employees’ Perspective Kristín Dýrfjörð and Anna Elísa Hreiðrasdóttir
Summary: During the first wave of the pandemic and Iceland’s partial lockdown, preschools and primary schools were open and preschool staff members were defined as frontline workers. This study aimed to identify how the preschool personnel carried out their work and what they felt about being frontline workers during the lockdown. A questionnaire was distributed online in the midst of the first wave of the pandemic, and 658 preschool teachers and other preschool workers responded. Both statistical and thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data collected. Most participants were optimistic and believed their work was useful. However, many felt they were in a vulnerable position and in danger of both contracting the virus and possibly transmitting it to their own families and the families of the preschool children. The employees trusted the civil protection authorities; despite this, many were worried and thought the authorities lacked knowledge of the working conditions within preschools.