The Voluntary PreKindergarten program (VPK) is a legislatively mandated program designed to prepare Florida's four-year-olds for kindergarten and builds the foundation for their educational success. Participation is free for all four-year-olds born on or before September 1st of each year who are Florida Residents.
To register your child for the VPK program follow these simple steps:
Step 2: Obtain one form of documentation for proof of birth and one form of documentation for proof of residency. See list of documentaion items below.
Step 3: Bring the completed VPK Application and forms of required documetation to any one of the ELC Family Service Centers. For further information or questions contact the ELC at 850-385-0504.
Eligibility for participation in the VPK program is based on the following:
1. Proof of birth
Birth Certificate (Original or Certified Copy)
Baptism Certificate (Original or Certified Copy with parent sworn affidavit)
Insurance Policy ( at least 2 years in effect)
Passport (at least 2 years in effect)
Immunization Record (indicating date of birth & signed by a public health officer or a licensed practicing physician)
Valid Military Dependent Identification Card
2. Proof of residency
Utility bill (with current service address listed)
Residential rental agreement (signed by landlord and verifiable)
Government Document (Florida's Driver's License or Florida Identification card)
Parents of participating children can choose from two program options for the VPK program:
School Year Session - VPK programs that operate during the school year must offer 540 hours of instruction. Each program sets their own calendar at the beginning of the year. The majority of school year VPK programs offer a 3 hour/day program for 180 days (often mirroring the public school year calendar). There are programs that offer a 6 hour/day program for one half of the school year.
Summer VPK Program - VPK programs that operate during the Summer must offer 300 hours of instruction with a start date after May 1 and end date prior to the start of the school year in public schools. Most program options offer a 6-9 hour day between June through August. All school districts are required by the VPK law to offer a summer program if there are any eligible programs wanting to participate.
Click here to view a listing of approved summer 2013 VPK providers in the Big Bend Region.
Click here (pdf 186.94 kB) to view a listing of approved VPK providers in the Big Bend Region for Fall 2013.
Voluntary Prekindergarten Program Provider Readiness Rates
The Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) Readiness Rates measure how well a private or public VPK provider prepared four-year-olds for kindergarten. VPK providers receive a rate, which is based on children’s performance on the measures of the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS) – a screening instrument given to children within the first 30 days of attending kindergarten.
FLKRS consists of a subset of the Early Childhood Observation System (ECHOS™) and two measures from the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR). ECHOS™ is an observational tool that is used to screen a broad spectrum of skills, knowledge and behaviors that a student demonstrates upon entering kindergarten. For purposes of kindergarten screening, the two FAIR measures that are used include the Broad Screen/Progress Monitoring Tool which screens letter naming and phonemic awareness skills, and the Broad Diagnostic Inventory which evaluates listening comprehension and vocabulary.
To review a VPK Provider's Readiness Rate, click here.