Voluntary Prekindergarten Program

What is VPK?

Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) is a free program aimed to prepare four-year-old children for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. VPK is available to all four-year-olds born on or before September 1 who reside in Florida, regardless of family income.
 
Parents may enroll their child in one of the following program options:
School Year Program
  • 540 instructional hours
  • Class sizes not to exceed 20 students
  • Instructors must have a minimum of a Child Development Associate for the school year program (Now referred to as the Birth to Five Florida Child Care Professional Credential.)
  • Typical class begins in late August for 3-4 hours per weekday
 
Summer Program
  • 300 instructional hours
  • Class sizes not to exceed 12 students
  • Instructors must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree
  • Typical class begins the following June for 6-7 hours per weekday
 
SIS Program (Specialized Instructional Services Education Program)
  • The SIS Program takes place outside a traditional classroom setting and is for 4-year-olds with special needs who have current individualized educational plans from their local school districts. To learn more about the SIS Program click here>
The school year VPK program begins each year in August and consists of 540 instructional hours. The summer VPK program starts in June and consists of 300 instructional hours. Children who participate in the summer VPK program must be eligible for kindergarten the school year immediately following.
 
VPK programs may be administered by public, private, and faith-based providers who meet the State eligibility requirements. VPK providers determine their own program hours and days in order to meet the 540 or 300 hour requirement. For example, if a program is 180 days, it would offer 3 hours of instruction each day to meet the 540-hour requirement. A provider could also choose to offer a 6 hour-per-day program for 90 days. Check with your VPK provider of choice to determine which program best suits your child’s needs.
 
Providers are not permitted to charge a registration fee or require parents to agree to any additional services. State law does not, however, prohibit a provider from charging registration fees for programs or care that are not part of the VPK program hours. In many cases, children can remain at the VPK site all day but parents are responsible for paying for the hours outside of the VPK program. Transportation is not covered for VPK.