Whether you’ve recently moved to Florida or your children are just starting school, if the term VPK is new to you, you aren’t alone. VPK stands for Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten. It is an optional and free program for children who live in Florida. There are a few restrictions. Enrolling children must be 4 years old on or before September 1, and the program is only for children ages 4 and 5 who are Florida residents.
The great news is, VPK is free with no registration fee. Schools and child education centers that provide VPK offer a wide array of learning focuses. Parents may choose any participating public school, private, or religious-based program. Florida VPK offers different options for programs. Parents can choose a 540-hour school year program or a 300-hour summer program. If your child has a disability, evidenced by an IEP, he or she is qualified for a VPK-SIS (specialized instructional services) program.
VPK class ratio is one instructor to 11 children. Instructors must have a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) for school year programs or a bachelor’s degree in early childhood for summer programs. VPK providers must be approved by law and committed to high standards of education, ensuring the safety and betterment of your child.
VPK Learning Focuses
The main focus of VPK is to start developing reading, language, and social skills early on. The goal is to prepare your child for kindergarten, where they will develop more advanced skills. Research shows that children who participate in a VPK program perform better on standardized tests, have better attendance rates, are less likely to drop out of school, and develop lifelong social and emotional skills.
What Steps do I Take?
First, apply today for VPK through the Florida Early Learning website. You will need to prove Florida residency and your child’s age.
Once you receive your VPK certificate of eligibility you can bring this document with you to apply to the VPK program you believe is the best fit for your child.
Dairy Road Discovery Center provides a top-notch education for your child.
We focus on creating an environment with activities that are age-appropriate and align with VPK standards. Dairy Road students also have the exciting opportunity to go on field trips into the community twice a month. Our graduates are prepared for kindergarten and have successfully continued their education in public and private school settings. Choose Dairy Road as your home for VPK!