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Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK)

 

 

 

Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) is a free program designed to prepare four-year-old children for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. VPK is available to all four year olds born on or before September 1st that reside in Florida, regardless of family income.

VPK Program Options

School Year Program
• 540 instructional hours
• Class sizes not to exceed 20 students
• Instructors must have a Birth through Five Florida Child Care Professional Credential and complete special training on early literacy performance standards
• A typical class begins in August

Summer Program
• 300 instructional hours
• Class sizes not to exceed 12 students
• Instructors must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree
• A typical class begins the following June

Specialized Instruction Services
• For children with disabilities who have current individual educational plans developed by the local school district
• Class sizes vary based on services provided

VPK programs may be administered by public, private, and faith-based providers who meet the State eligibility requirements. VPK providers determine their own program hours and days in order to meet the 540 or 300 hour requirement. For example, if a program is 180 days, it would offer 3 hours of instruction each day to meet the 540-hour requirement. A provider could also choose to offer a 6 hour-per-day program for 90 days. Check with your VPK provider of choice to determine which program best suits your child’s needs.

TO REGISTER FOR VPK IN MANATEE COUNTY:
The parent or guardian with whom the child lives must REGISTER ONLINE in order to receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The following documents are required to prove a child's age and residency:

Proof of Child's Age: (One of the following)

• An original or certified copy of the child’s birth record filed according to law with the appropriate public officer
• A passport or certificate of the child’s arrival in the United States
• An immunization record a public health officer or licensed practicing physician signed
• A valid military dependent identification card

Proof of Child's Residency: (One of the following) P.O. BOXES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE

• An original or certified copy of the child’s birth record filed according to law with the appropriate public officer
• A passport or certificate of the child’s arrival in the United States
• An immunization record a public health officer or licensed practicing physician signed
• A valid military dependent identification card

Selecting a VPK Provider
VPK programs may be administered by public, private, and faith-based providers who meet the State eligibility requirements. VPK providers determine their own program hours and days in order to meet the 540 or 300 hour requirement. For example, if a program is 180 days, it would offer 3 hours of instruction each day to meet the 540-hour requirement. A provider could also choose to offer a 6 hour-per-day program for 90 days. Check with your VPK provider of choice to determine which program best suits your child’s needs. To see a list of certified VPK providers in your area, please use our VPK Facility Locator tool. There are restrictions on changing providers once you begin a program. If you wish to change VPK providers, please contact the Early Learning Coalition for information on this process.