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. Parents must provide proof of the child’s age and residency during registration. The program helps to ensure that all children are intellectual, 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.
Voluntary Prekindergarten is a free preschool experience that prepares children for kindergarten through a play-based curriculum. You won’t see children using flash cards or worksheets in VPK. Instead, children participate in circle time, small group activities and centers where they explore their interests and learn to interact with others. They experiment with colors and shapes using paints and stamps. They answer back as the teacher reads a book aloud then retell the story to each other by reviewing the pictures. They count bears and buttons and sort them by color. They play outside and develop motor skills. In VPK, children are learning how to learn. They are taught how to follow a routine and function in a classroom community. They learn to express their feelings, resolve conflicts and problem solve. Children who attend VPK are better prepared for kindergarten.
For the families that need full-time care, we offer wrap around care with free VPK.
We start to plan for VPK in early spring so we can save the spots for the children that have already attended our program. Please make it your first priority to get the Certificate of Eligibility and turn it in as soon as possible so we can reserve the spot for your child. For More information on how to get the certificate please click on the VPK link www.elcpinellas.net or call us and we will be happy to help.