VPK stands for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
Program. If you live in Florida, and your child turns 4 four years of
age by September 1, your child is eligible to participate in Florida's
FREE Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) education program. Enrollment is limited at Public Schools across Polk County.
Benefits of early education and the VPK program
The most important growth and development in the brain happens by the age of five.
The early years are the learning years. A child’s ability to be
attentive and to follow directions emerges in the early years.
Structured early learning fosters these abilities for later success in
school and in life.
Pre-K prepares children to be ready for school. Children who
participate in high-quality early childhood education programs develop
better language skills, score higher in school-readiness tests and have
better social skills and fewer behavioral problems once they enter
school. They are also better prepared for Kindergarten, especially in
the areas of pre-reading, pre-math and social skills.
Pre-K promotes a love of learning in children. Pre-K enhances what a
child learns at home and instills a love of life-long learning.
VPK: AM or PM (3 hours per day): Depending on parental requests for VPK services, most schools will provide 3 hours of VPK in the morning and afternoon. Parental preference of service time will be considered but not guaranteed. School locations are listed on the last page of the VPK Application.
VPK: full school day (fee for extended day): Depending upon parental requests for VPK services, some schools will provide a full school day of service for a fee of $12 per day for 180 days of service. The payment agreement is $216 per month for 10 months – prorated for days of service. To reserve your child’s full day space, the first payment is required prior to acceptance into the program.
VPK: Title 1 PK Grant (full school day): Polk County Schools Preschool Programs has been granted a unique opportunity for 21 specific schools. The location of these schools are listed on the last page of the VPK application. The VPK eligible child living within the specific school zone can attend the program for the full school day at no cost to the parent.
Step 3: Complete and submit the application.
VPK Certificates of Eligibility issued by the Polk Early Learning Coalition cannot be taken to public school offices for enrollment purposes.
The application cover page lists documents you will need to submit with the application. Proof of address was mistakenly left off the list. Please note that proof of address will be requested with the other documents.
Submittal of an application does not guarantee acceptance into the program, a particular school or session.
Applications and documentation must be submitted to:
Polk County Schools Woodlake Center - Preschool Programs
3425 New Jersey Road
Lakeland, Florida 33803
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8:00 - 4:00 pm
Step 4: If your child is selected for enrollment:
You will receive a Polk County Schools Preschool Programs acceptance letter by mail or email.
The letter of acceptance will provide you with the name of school, time of service and information on how to enroll your child at the school.