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Big price differences between the summer courses offered by sports clubs

For most parents of schoolchildren there is a gap of several weeks over the summer, where schools are closed but most people have to work. Parents generally organise courses and other recreational activities for their children during this period. While primary schools in Iceland are closed for 10 weeks over the summer, most parents can expect a 5-week summer holiday. This leaves 5 weeks where children need something to keep them occupied. Many parents rely on summer courses to bridge the gap, but the courses can be expensive, even if you choose the least costly courses available. The Consumer Price Inspection (Verðlagseftirlitið) conducted a survey of prices for the various summer activities available this year.

Special Covid grants can be used for summer courses
Many municipalities offer recreation grants that can be used for summer courses. However, the grants are nowhere near enough to cover both recreational activities through the winter as well as summer courses. This year, as part of the Covid response measures, an additional sports and recreation grant is available for children in low income homes which can also be used for summer courses. The grant is for children born between 2005 and 2014, who live in households with an average income below 740,000 ISK in the period March-July 2020. The applications deadline is until 31 July 2021. For more information about the grant and applications, follow this link.

Courses offered by sports club and the municipalities’ summer programmes have the lowest cost per hour
The courses vary in structure and target age group and the prices vary greatly. The lowest cost per hour for a summer course is 133 ISK and the highest is 2,387 ISK. This amounts to a 1,695% difference between the highest and lowest cost per hour among the courses checked in this survey. There is also a considerable difference in prices for comparable courses offered by the sports clubs. For example, cost per hour for a half-day course with Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar (Akureyri football club) is 133 ISK, compared to 193 ISK with Grótta, 275 ISK with Haukar, 345 ISK with Stjarnan, and 478 ISK with HK and Breiðablik.

Prices for art courses, such as visual arts or dance, as well as technical courses are generally higher. The same goes for horse-riding, swimming, and cycling courses. Cost per hour for such courses is generally between 1,000 and 2,000 ISK. The highest cost per hour of the courses checked in this survey was with Myndlistarskóli Kópavogs (Kópavogur art school) which costs 2,387 ISK per hour for a five-day course, with 90 minutes per day. The second highest cost per hour was for a dance course at Brynja Péturs dance school which costs 2,083 ISK per hour for a 3-week course, 2 sessions per week, one hour each session.

About this survey
The survey looks at the prices of courses offered by sports clubs, sports and recreation councils, municipalities, scout associations, and NGOs.

The courses are listed by the number of days and hours per day. In many cases, childcare is offered in the mornings, noon and afternoons. In those cases, childcare is included in the number of hours. In some cases, there is an additional fee for childcare, but this fee may be included in the course fee for some courses. The same goes for lunch and refreshments – food is rarely included in the course price but sometimes a meal can be bought for a small fee. The prices in this survey are always for a single course so they do not consider discounts such as practitioners discounts or siblings discounts.

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