In order to welcome you we have compiled information about your new hometown.
Get to know the town’s walking and cycling paths, activities and swimming pools but children under 18 get free access to pools.
Children and youth in Hafnarfjörður have access to good education, after-school activities and recreation activities.
Practical information about buses, waste collection, street cleaning, traffic, animal control and more.
Hafnarfjörður hopes to secure financial and social security for all residents. Find out what support is available.
Enjoy culture in Bæjarbíó cultural house, at various museums or attend exciting events.
You can stay at great hotels, hostels or at a family friendly campsite in town.
You can find a lot of outdoors activities and various recreations in Hafnarfjörður.
Check-out upcoming events, or register a new one.
Search for employees or available jobs in town.
Hafnarfjörður Town council consists of 11 municipal representatives. All town council meetings are broadcast live.
Here you can find the town's fees for children, sports and activities and support services.
Contact us with ideas, suggestions, problems or emergencies.
Automatic translation by Google Translate. We cannot guarantee that it is accurate.
Specialists in refugee affairs from Hafnarfjarðarbær, together with occupational therapists, worked on the project “developmental fun” (þroskafjör) for the children of refugees which have applied for protection but cannot immediately get access to kindergarten/school. “Developmental fun” was one of the projects that was nominated as a model project by UNICEF Iceland 2023.
Specialists in refugee affairs from Hafnarfjarðarbær, together with occupational therapists, worked on the project “developmental fun” (þroskafjör) for the children of refugees which have applied for protection but cannot immediately get access to kindergarten/school. The goal was to provide them and their parents with developmental teaching and play time in the Strandgata Gymnasium. Emphasis was placed on improving their learning skills and also screening for any possible abnormalities in each child’s development skills, thereby helping them get into the hands of professionals if needed. Children living in socio-economically impaired conditions may be diagnosed with developmental abnormalities, as their environment has not been sufficient enough for normal development to take place. “Developmental fun” was therefore thought of as a preventive measure against it. Hafnarfjörður´s “developmental fun” program, was one of the projects that was nominated as a model project by UNICEF Iceland.
In the early years of children’s lives, it is important to lay a foundation for their good health, well-being and development. To support a healthy upbringing, the children’s social and emotional needs need to be met and education provided accordingly.
Keeping a home where children feel loved, safe, and spending quality time with their family are also important factors for a healthy start to life. The environment of children that are forced to flee their home countries, stay at refugee camps and unforeseeable circumstances often impair their ability to develop normally. Studies have shown an increased likelihood of behavioral, attentional and social problems in refugee children. Parents can, at times, lack knowledge of the systems and assistance that is available, as well as different cultural attitudes to disability and developmental abnormalities. This can lead to children not receiving adequate support in this field. In addition, parents’ traumatic experiences and state of their mental health can have a major impact on their ability to provide children with the connection, attention and care they need.
It is therefore a priority to break social isolation and to provide children and their parents with support for normal development, thereby preventing any developmental deviations. It is important to provide a platform like “developmental fun”, where children, who are already behind in development or with disabilities of some kind, get access to specialists. This initiates a diagnostic process that offers the possibility for children to develop the basic skills needed, according to their age group.
The younger group in “developmental fun” was for children between the ages of zero and two. Parents showed up with their children, had a good time together and fostered networking. With singing, massage and sensory games. Occupational therapists were also available to the parents, to provide them with information about each child’s developmental process and how to promote their stimulation and development in their daily lives.
The older group was for children between the ages of two and six, divided into groups of five to six children, by needs and ability. At first, the parents showed up with their children, but the children grew more independent with each class. The classes were divided into gross movements, relaxation and reasoning in an organized environment that encouraged everyone to participate. They tested new movements and experiences for the sensory system.
“Developmental fun” lasted for 10 weeks and great progress was made in improving the school skills of the participating children. Although many children did not have the same skills as their peers at the beginning of the project, positive differences and new skills could soon be seen flourishing in most of the children.
There was a great deal of emphasis on communication and cooperation between the children. There was therefore a positive difference at the end of the project in how the children participated in group projects. They now find it easier to follow adult guidance and be more considerate of their needs and others. Many of them can now wait calmly in a line, take turns playing, color in a careful manner, and even write their own names. Children’s self-confidence has also increased greatly.
Getting information about where children are in the developmental process significantly reduces the threshold that can arise on their way into the school system. It thus helps them adapt better when they go to kindergarten and elementary school. In addition, it makes it easier for school staff to meet the children’s needs. The project also helped parents. They learned new ways to understand their child better, formed stronger bonds, supported them, and in the process formed new companionships and a strong support network with other parents. Good attendance and participation from both children and their parents in the project was achieved. The children had the opportunity to be children, like their peers, but without their backgrounds being at the forefront.
“Developmental fun” follows the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. with the aim of finding what is best for each child (Article 3 of the Act) It also looks at the children’s parents, empowering them in their role and in their relationships with their children (5. Article – Family Guidance, 18. Article parental responsibility). Last but not least, the uniqueness of this group is taken into account (22. Article – Refugee children) and those in the group in need of additional support (23. Article – children with disabilities) and their assistance in recovery and better integration into the school system (Article 39).
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