School doesn’t start in kindergarten anymore, it starts in VPK!
Florida’s Free Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program is designed to prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program is designed to prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success.
All children who turn 4-years-old on or before September 1st and reside in Florida are eligible to attend a VPK program. Parent must provide proof of the child’s age and residency during registration. Parents have the option of two VPK Programs: School Year & Summer.
Highlights of VPK Program
To ensure that all children are intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially ready to enter school and ready to learn, fully recognizing the crucial role of parents as their child’s first teacher.
- Free for all 4 year-olds in Florida
- No registration fees
- Parents choose where their child learns
- Focused on reading, writing and social skills
Benefits of VPK Programs?
VPK Kids Test Better! Research shows children that complete high quality prekindergarten programs enter school prepared to learn. Based on Florida Department of Education’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Readiness Rates, children that completed VPK programs scored higher on the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS), meaning they were more prepared when entering kindergarten. In addition, studies show children that complete VPK programs on average score higher on the FCAT and are less likely to be retained in third grade.
Choosing Quality Child Care
An early learning program’s environment provides the experiences your child needs to learn new skills and to develop socially. Look for a positive and caring relationship between teachers and children. Make sure the teacher is someone you can comfortably communicate with and you can trust. When you walk into the facility, the atmosphere should be cheerful and safe. The children should be having fun and the program should include experiences and activities you consider important.
Above all, you want to choose a program where your child will be safe and happy, and where your ideas about parenting will be supported.
Quick tips on choosing the correct child care provider:
- Be a Smart Shopper
- Do Your Research
- Make an Informed Decision
- Use the Child Care Resource & Referral Services