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.
Four Easy Steps to Apply for a Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Certificate
Acceptable documents include: birth certificate, passport, valid military dependent ID card, record signed by physician, INS Certificate of Arrival in US.
Attach a copy of proof of Florida residency. Proof must match the name and physical address on your VPK application.
Acceptable documents include, but are not limited to: Driver's License, utility bill, bank statement, insurance policy, pay stubs, valid Florida or govt. documents. A post office box address is not sufficient proof.
Take completed application and attachments to an Early Learning Coalition site.
See the website at www.elcpolk.org for times, dates and designated locations.
Parents will be issued an Eligibility Certificate after the application has been approved.