Free VPK

  • Mommy, Daddy I know you heard about Picaso, but have you heard about ME!

Highlights

    • FREE VPK is 3 hours per day
    • Must live in Florida
    • Must be 4yrs old on or before September 1st of current schol year to be eligible
    • Classes sizes of 20 or fewer children
    • Summer program OR School Year Program
    • School Year program is 540 instructional hours
    • Summer program is 300 instructional hours

Interesting Facts

  • About 80% of all Florida 4-year-olds attend VPK
  • In 2011-2012 79% of children who finished VPK were ready for Kindergarten. In comparison, only 55% of children who did not attend VPK were ready

What is VPK

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.

What is PRE-K

PRE-K stands for the Prekindergarten Education Program. Since the state only cover for 3 hours of FREE VPK we offer extended PRE-K. This is an extension to the VPK program; however, it is not covered by the state and there would be an additional fee. Please refer to our rate sheet for further information.

Storybrooke Rate Sheet

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.

Highlights of the VPK Program

FREE for all children who live in Florida and who turn 4 years of age by September 1

  • Parents may choose a participating private child care or public school provider
  • Early language and literacy focus

Curriculum

  • Focuses on reading, writing and social skills
  • Prepares children to be ready for Kindergarten

Instructors

  • Ratios are 1 instructor to 18 children
  • Class size will not exceed 20 children in the school-year program, and will not exceed 12 children for the summer program
  • All VPK instructors must have a minimum of a child development associate for the school-year program, or a bachelor’s degree in early childhood or related fields for the summer program, click here for summer VPK instructor requirements.

VPK legislation was signed into law by Governor Jeb Bush on January 2, 2005. This law created a program to prepare every Florida four-year-old for Kindergarten and to build a strong foundation for their continued educational success.

The VPK program will better prepare Florida’s young children for a successful Kindergarten experience by focusing the Department of Education’s efforts on early literacy. This legislation assigns responsibilities for the day-to-day management of the program to the Office of Early Learning (OEL); licensing and credentialing to the Department of Children and Families (DCF); and the creation of standards, curriculum, and accountability to the Department of Education (DOE). All three agencies are working together to provide leadership and support to the local early learning coalitions, school districts, and public and private providers to ensure the successful implementation of effective prekindergarten education programs for Florida’s four-year-old children.

To find out more information about the program or how to apply, visit the St. Lucie County Early Learning Coalition.

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