About Voluntary Prekindergarten
Florida was one of the first states in the country to offer free prekindergarten for all 4-year-olds regardless of family income. The Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program -- or VPK -- prepares early learners for success in kindergarten and beyond. VPK helps build a strong foundation for school using educational material corresponding to various stages in a child's development.
To be eligible, children must live in Florida and be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the current school year. Parents whose children are born between Feb. 2 and Sept. 1 can postpone enrolling their 4-year-old until the following year when their child is 5. Parents can choose from different educational settings and various program options. Private child care centers, public schools and specialized instructional services providers offer VPK.
Since the program began in 2005-06, more than 2.6 million children have benefited from VPK. Data collected by the Department of Education show that children who participate in VPK are much more ready for kindergarten than children who do not participate in VPK.