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Voluntary PreKindergarten

 

Florida’s free Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program is designed to prepare all 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. Families do not have to meet income criteria to participate in this program.

 Parents have the option of enrolling children in a school-year program that is typically a half-day or a full-day summer program. Specialized Instructional Services (SIS) which takes place outside the traditional classroom setting are available for 4-year-olds with special needs.

 VPK provides a play-based learning experience that supports the development of early literacy, executive functioning and social emotional skills. According to the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener, children who participate in VPK are better prepared for success in school.

Program Types

SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAM

LENGTH

540 instructional hours, average 3-6 hours per day. Before and after care is available with most VPK providers

SETTINGS

Private Childcare
Providers
Public Schools
Head Start

CLASS SIZE

4-20
children

INSTRUCTORS

Must have a minimum of a
Child Development Associate
(CDA) or higher. A second adult
is required for classes of 12 or
more children

SUMMER PROGRAM

LENGTH

300 instructional hours, average
6-8 hours per day. Before- and
after-care is available with most
VPK providers

SETTINGS

Private Childcare
Providers, Public
Schools, and Head
Start

CLASS SIZE

4-12
children

INSTRUCTORS

Certified Teacher or Bachelor’s
or higher degree in an early
learning field

FULL-DAY WRAP CARE SCHOLARSHIP

FOR

Non-working or low-income
families who may not meet
income or job requirements for
School Readiness scholarships.

SETTINGS

Provided by select
high-quality early
learning centers
throughout Pinellas
County.

LENGTH

Provides access to full-day, full-year scholarships for school year and summer care. Available only to VPK-eligible children ages 4 – 5.

INSTRUCTORS

Certified teacher
or other degree in an early
learning field.

VPK REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE

2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR  

How to Register

 

All VPK Registration is done online via the Florida’s Early Learning Family Portal.

Any child who is four years old on or before September 1st  is eligible for the upcoming program year.
For example, if your child was born between September 2, 2016 and September 1, 2017, your child is eligible for the 2021-2022 School Year VPK program.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to register online, you must be able to upload the required documents individually.

Once you submit or resubmit the VPK application form, it will be processed within 10 business days. You will receive confirmation as to whether your application has been approved or rejected by email to the email address list on the application form. The time-frame to process a VPK application is the same as the Pinellas County School Board student reservation system.

This information is for those families who have also applied separately to the Pinellas County School Board VPK group in order to have their child attend VPK at a school board site. If you have any questions regarding the Pinellas County School’s VPK process please contact them directly at 588-6513 for assistance. If you have any other VPK questions concerning your Family Portal application please contact the VPK team at 400-4411.

Thank you!

Registration Resources

Step by Step App Guide

Step by Step Application Guide

Step by Step App Guide

Step by Step Application Guide – Spanish

One-Sheet Application Guide (English)

One-Sheet Application Guide (English)

One-Sheet Application Guide (Spanish)

One-Sheet Application Guide (Spanish)

VIDEO: How to Apply for VPK

VIDEO: How to Apply for VPK

VIDEO: Why VPK?

VIDEO: Why VPK?

VPK Family Portal

Visit Your Family Portal

Get School Listing from CCR&R

Get School Listing from CCR&R

View VPK and School Readiness Registration Guide and FAQ

VPK and School Readiness Registration
Guide and FAQ

VIEW VPK HANDBOOK

View VPK Handbook (FL OEL)

VPK Flyer

VPK Flyer

FAQ’s

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE VPK CERTIFICATE ONCE I SUBMIT MY APPLICATION?
Normal processing can take up to 10 business days to receive your VPK certificate.
WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED AN APPROPRIATE CAUSE TO DIS-ENROLL A CHILD?
The following are examples of appropriate reasons for dis-enrolling your child: medical reasons, job transfer, and changing home address.
IF A PARENT CHOOSES TO NOT ENROLL THEIR CHILD IN VPK WILL IT PRESENT A PROBLEM WHEN THE CHILD ENTERS KINDERGARTEN?
No, participation is completely voluntary. Many parents choose to provide school readiness activities at home.
DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO ATTEND A VOLUNTARY PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM?
No, participation is completely voluntary.
CAN CHILDREN ATTEND MORE THAN ONE VPK SESSION?
A child may only attend one state paid VPK session either during the school year or summer session.
CAN CHILDREN CROSS COUNTY LINES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE VPK PROGRAM?
Yes, the law only requires the child to be a Florida resident. Parents/Guardians must register their children for VPK in the county that they are planning to attend in.Example: if the child resides in Pinellas County but would like to attend VPK in Pasco County, the parent must register for VPK through the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc.
WILL THERE BE AN ENROLLMENT DEADLINE?
Enrollment is continuous but after a certain date in the school session enrollment may stop and then children will be considered for another session.
HOW DO I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY ONLINE VPK APPLICATION?
All VPK online applications will be processed in the order they were submitted. Please allow time for the ELC staff to review your application and process it in order for you receive your certificate.

  • If you have not received an email you should check your SPAM email as occasionally the VPK online emails are directed there.
  • You can also log back into your account to see the status of your application.
  • If then you are unable to locate any communication regarding your application you may call our VPK Online Specialists at 727-400-4411.
HOW CAN I ENROLL MY CHILD?
Parents or Legal guardians can register here.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE VOLUNTARY PREKINDERGARTEN (VPK) PROGRAM?
  • Any child who is four-years-old on or before September 1st
  • The child who is a Florida resident.

The following are examples of appropriate reasons for dis-enrolling your child: medical reasons, job transfer, and changing home address.

No, participation is completely voluntary. Many parents choose to provide school readiness activities at home.

No, participation is completely voluntary.

A child may only attend one state paid VPK session either during the school year or summer session.

Yes, the law only requires the child to be a Florida resident. Parents/Guardians must register their children for VPK in the county that they are planning to attend in.Example: if the child resides in Pinellas County but would like to attend VPK in Pasco County, the parent must register for VPK through the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc.

Enrollment is continuous but after a certain date in the school session enrollment may stop and then children will be considered for another session.

All VPK online applications will be processed in the order they were submitted. Please allow time for the ELC staff to review your application and process it in order for you receive your certificate.

  • If you have not received an email you should check your SPAM email as occasionally the VPK online emails are directed there.
  • You can also log back into your account to see the status of your application.
  • If then you are unable to locate any communication regarding your application you may call our VPK Online Specialists at 727-400-4411.

Parents or Legal guardians can register here.

  • Any child who is four-years-old on or before September 1st
  • The child who is a Florida resident.

Please contact the ELC Portal Helpdesk at portal.helpdesk@elcpinellas.org. Do not create an account on your own as that will not link to your current eligibility.

Please contact the ELC Portal Helpdesk at portal.helpdesk@elcpinellas.org. Do not create an account on your own as that will not link to your current eligibility.

The primary method of contact will be by email. We may also need to reach you by phone. Therefore, please make sure that ELC always has your current email address and phone number.

Please log on to the Family Portal account you have already created. If you are experiencing difficulties, please contact the ELC Portal Helpdesk at portal.helpdesk@elcpinellas.org. Do not create an account on your own as that will not link to your current eligibility.

Please visit either our Clearwater or St. Petersburg locations to utilize the kiosks.

  1. Log on to your Family Portal account.
  2. Under the School Readiness Applications section, click on “Verify Eligibility” blue button.
  3. You will be directed to the Eligibility Wizard. Click start to begin the process.
  4. When you reach the end of the application, please sign electronically exactly as your name appears on the record and click “Submit Eligibility Verification”.
  5. Once the ELC completes your re-certification, you will receive an email directing you back to the Family Portal. Log into the Family Portal. Under the School Readiness Funding section you will click on the blue “Sign” button next to each of your child(ren)’s name(s). Please Note: If you don’t receive the email, you can still log into the Family Portal and complete the process.
  6. You will be asked to read and accept to the Parental Rights and Responsibilities/Terms and Conditions. Please sign electronically the Payment Certificate exactly how your name appears on the record to complete the process.

  1. If you see a blue box stating, “Additional information is needed,” then you will need to upload documents in order to complete the section. Click on “No, I need to update the information”.
  2. The “Edit” button will appear for you to select.
  3. The next screen will give you the prompt to “Upload Document".

  1. Log in to Family Portal. Under the School Readiness Funding section, you will see “Pending Family Acceptance” under the Enrollment Status. Click on the blue “Sign” button next to each of your child(ren)’s name(s).
  2. You will be asked to read and accept the Parental Rights and Responsibilities/Terms and Conditions. Please sign electronically the Payment Certificate exactly how your name appears on the record to complete the process.
  3. Your provider can then log onto their attendance roster and complete your child’s attendance.
  4. Please Note: If you do not sign off on the Payment Certificate, your provider’s payments may be effected. It is imperative that you complete the process ASAP.

  1. Download and print the Child Transfer Form.
  2. Complete the Transfer form with your current and new providers.
  3. Fax completed form to 727-400-4486 or drop off at one of the ELC locations.
  4. Once ELC has completed the transfer, you will need to sign the Payment Certificate in order for your child to show up on the new provider’s attendance roster. Log into the Family Portal. Under the School Readiness Funding section you will click on the blue “Sign” button next to each of your child(ren)’s name(s)
  5. You will be asked to read and accept the Parental Rights and Responsibilities/Terms and Conditions. Please electronically sign the Payment Certificate exactly how your name appears on the record to complete the process.
  6. Your provider can then log onto their attendance roster and complete your child’s attendance.
  7. Please Note: If you do not sign off on the Payment Certificate, your provider’s payments may be effected. It is imperative that you complete the process ASAP. 

  1. Once ELC has completed the transfer, you will need to sign the Payment Certificate in order for your child to show up on the new provider’s attendance roster. Log into the Family Portal. Under the School Readiness Funding section you will click on the blue “Sign” button next to each of your child(ren)’s name(s).
  2. You will be asked to read and accept the Parental Rights and Responsibilities/Terms and Conditions. Please electronically sign the Payment Certificate exactly how your name appears on the record to complete the process.
  3. Your provider can then log onto their attendance roster and complete your child’s attendance.
  4. Please Note: If you do not sign off on the Payment Certificate, your provider’s payments may be effected. It is imperative that you complete the process ASAP.

  1. If eligible for a temporary termination, download and print the Temporary Termination Request form.
  2. Complete the Temporary Termination form with your current provider.
  3. Fax completed form to 727-400-4486 or drop off at one of the ELC locations.

If you need access to a computer, please reach out to your provider (or prospected provider) for assistance and computer access. Many providers have been given computers or tablets to help families finalize applications.

If your provider cannot aid you, please call the ELC for guidance on next steps. Call 727-400-4411.

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ADMINISTRATION AND GENERAL INFORMATION

Main Line: 727-548-1439

Toll Free: 855-224-3527

Main Office: 2536 Countryside Blvd., Suite 500 | Clearwater, FL 33763

Hours of Operation: M-F, 8am – 5:00pm; kiosks open until 4:30pm

CHILD CARE RESOURCE & REFERRAL (CCR&R)

727-400-4411

SCREENING AND INTERVENTION 

727-400-4454
For ASQ Questions/Concerns: 727-400-4452

ELIGIBILITY FAX

727-400-4486 or 727-400-4487

PROVIDER SERVICES: 

SR Provider Contracts: 727-400-4417

VPK Provider Contracts: 727-400-4417

Provider Contracts Fax: 727-400-4472

Certificate Voucher Fax: 727-545-7538

CCR&R Provider Updates: 727-400-4419

Provider Portal Helpdesk: 727-400-4474

Provider Services Department: 727-400-4461

Provider Services Fax: 727-400-4472

Professional Development: 727-400-4431

Inclusion Warm Line: 727-545-7536

Complaint Line: 727-400-4495