Florida’s legislatively mandated Voluntary PreKindergarten (VPK) program is intended to prepare every four-year-old in the state of Florida for kindergarten and build a strong foundation for their continued educational success.
VPK is a free, voluntary program that parents of 4 year old children can choose to participate in through either a school year program for a total of 540 instructional hours or a summer program for a total of 300 instructional hours.
Parents can also choose to enroll their child in either a public school or a preschool program offered by a private provider.
The Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region, Inc. (ELC) is the local entity responsible for the implementation and administration of the VPK program in Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties.
The ELC enrolls children and providers, and facilitates payments to VPK providers. The ELC also provides up to date information on the VPK program, distributes current VPK policies, offers program guidance and instruction, presents training opportunities, and monitors compliance with VPK policies and standards. An electronic version of the entire Standards for Four-year olds can be downloaded here.
VPK Provider Applications
Once you have completed the application and gathered all required supporting documents, contact the Contracts Department at (850) 385-0504 to schedule an appointment with your Contract Case Manager to submit your application.
All VPK public and private providers must maintain attendance records for students participating in the VPK program, as well as secure verification from the parent of each student in the VPK program that the child participated in accordance with the attendance reported for payment.
VPK providers must keep a record of each child's attendance as well as complete either the "Long" (Form OEL-VPK 3L) or 'Short" (Form OEL-VPK 3S) Student Attendance and Parental Choice Certificate and keep the originals on file for a minimum of 2 years.
If after initial VPK enrollment a child needs to be moved to another classroom at the same provider, Form AWI-VPK 06 Informed Parental Consent for Class Transfers must be completed and submitted to the Coalition before the child can be transferred.
If you would like to request onsite VPK eligibility determination for the upcoming 2013-2014 School Year, you must have a minimum of 30 VPK eligible children for the ELC to come to your program. Please contact Deborah Comer at email@example.com or 850-385-0504.