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Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK)

DSC_0092Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program  began as a constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters in November 2002 and signed into law January 2, 2005. It is designed to prepare every four-year-old in Florida for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. The VPK program gives each child an opportunity to perform better in school and throughout life with quality programs that include high literacy standards, accountability, appropriate curricula, substantial instruction periods, manageable class sizes and qualified instructors. All eligible four-year-olds are entitled to participate in one of the VPK program options. Families of four-year-old children with special needs are also supported through the VPK Specialized Instructional Services (SIS) Education Program.

Highlights of the VPK Program

The VPK program is FREE for all four-year-olds born on or before September 1st who reside in Florida. The program has the highest quality of standards, including:

  • Qualified instructors 
  • Age appropriate curricula with a strong emphasis on early literacy skills
  • Manageable class sizes
  • Parent Guides provide useful information about the VPK program: English, Spanish and Haitian (Creole)  

VPK Program Options

DSC_0090Parental choice is a priority; therefore, both private and public providers may participate. VPK providers have flexibility in structuring the hours per day and days per week to meet the required instructional hours:

  • School Year Program – 540 instructional hours: Class sizes will not exceed 11 students with 1 lead instructor and up to 20 students with a lead instructor and an assistant; instructors must have a minimum of a Florida Child Care Professional Credential for the school year program (in Florida, the Birth to Five Florida Child Care Professional Credential).
  • Summer Program – 300 instructional hours: Class sizes not to exceed 12 students with 1 lead instructor; instructors must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Transferring VPK Programs: The state of Florida allows one transfer to a new VPK program in each VPK session. Students are eligible to transfer, if they have not completed 70% of the allotted VPK hours for their session. To request a re-enrollment, please log into your family portal account and select the “Request Reenrollment” button, to the far right, next to your current application status.     

Readiness Rates

The VPK Provider Kindergarten Readiness Rate measures how well a VPK provider prepares four-year-olds to be ready for kindergarten, based upon the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year Olds (2011). The VPK Standards describe what four-year-old children should know and perform by the end of the VPK program.

To find out more information regarding the VPK Readiness Rate and to search for individual provider readiness rates, see below:

Click here

Registration Process

All children who turn four (4) years old by September 1 are eligible for the school year program (540 hours) or summer program (300 hours) that is offered before the start of their Kindergarten year.

  • Apply for a VPK certificate for your child by visiting: https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com
  • Upload residency and child date of birth verification within the application process. Please select documents from the list below:
    Residency Verification – Unexpired driver’s license or ID with current physical address, full page utility bill, full page pay stub that has your current address on it, current lease agreement with tenant and landlord signatures shown, government issued document, or property tax assessment with homestead exemption documented.
    Date of Birth Verification – Birth Certificate, Florida Certification of Immunization (shot record), passport, baptism certificate, military I.D., or mature life insurance policy of at least 2 years.
  • Please check your e-mail for confirmation that your documents have been received and are being processed. We will contact you if additional information is needed.
  • Take a moment to find out important information about the VPK program by viewing the VPK Handbook in EnglishSpanish and Haitian (Creole).