Florida was one of the first states in the country to offer free prekindergarten for all 4-year-olds, regardless of family income. Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program is designed to prepare children for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. The program helps to ensure that all children are intellectually, 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.
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. Parents can choose from different educational settings and various program options. Private child care centers, public schools and specialized instructional services providers offer VPK.
SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAM
540 instructional hours, average 3-6 hours per day. Before and after care is available with most VPK providers
Must have a minimum of a
Child Development Associate
(CDA) or higher. A second adult
is required for classes of 12 or
300 instructional hours, average
6-8 hours per day. Before- and
after-care is available with most
Schools, and Head
Certified Teacher or Bachelor’s
or higher degree in an early
FULL-DAY WRAP CARE SCHOLARSHIP
Non-working or low-income
families who may not meet
income or job requirements for
School Readiness scholarships.
Provided by select
Provides access to full-day, full-year scholarships for school year and summer care. Available only to VPK-eligible children ages 4 – 5.
or other degree in an early
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, 2015 and September 1, 2016, your child is eligible for the 2020-2021 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.
VPK and School Readiness Registration
Guide and FAQ
Normal processing can take up to 10 business days to receive your VPK certificate.
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.
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.
- Any child who is four-years-old on or before September 1st
- The child who is a Florida resident.