Have Questions?

Who is eligible?

Participating children must be 4 year of age on or before September 1. Parents can enroll their child in the state’s free, voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) education program that year or wait until the following year when their child is 5. Click here for more information.

Who will be providing VPK services during the school year?

Private and public providers will be offering the VPK program during the school-year and the summer. Families may choose the provider that best meets their needs. To search for a VPK provider, please click here.

When does the program begin?

The school-year VPK Program starts in the Fall. Families should contact the provider of their choice for individual program information.

How many hours per day will my child attend the VPK program?

The school-year VPK program consists of 540 hours of instructional time. We encourage you to contact the VPK provider of your choice to inquire about individual program details. VPK providers have flexibility in structuring the hours per day and days per week to meet the required instructional hours. For example, if a program is 180 days (similar to a school-year calendar), 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. Providers may consider other options, including offering a morning or afternoon program or having a program for 2 or 3 days a week instead of every day.

Are there additional costs for my child to attend?

The school-year VPK program provides 540 hours of instructional time FREE to families. Additional child care services provided outside of the VPK hours will be at a cost to families. You should speak with your selected VPK provider to inquire about child care rates.

Is transportation available?

No. Florida law specifies that families are responsible for transportation to and from the VPK program.

How many children will be in a classroom?

During the school-year VPK, the minimum requirement is four (4) children and the maximum is 20. There must be a teacher for every 11 children. For example, a classroom of 12 or more children would have two teachers.

What are the qualifications of the VPK teachers?

Each credentialed VPK Instructor (lead teacher) must have:

  • Copy of one (1) of the following credentials:
    • Child Development Associate (CDA) or Florida Child Care Professional Certificate (FCCPC) earned within the last five (5) years; or
    • An Associate’s Degree or higher in Child Development; or
    • An Associate’s Degree or higher in an unrelated field, with at least 6 credit hours in early childhood education or child development, and at least 480 hours of experience in teaching or providing childcare services for children any age from birth to 8 years of age; or
    • A Bachelor’s Degree or higher in early childhood education, prekindergarten or primary education, preschool education, or family and consumer science; or
    • A Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education, if the pre-k instructor has been certified to teach children any age from birth through 6th grade, with a Florida Educator’s Certificate, regardless whether the certificate is current or not, and has not had this educator certificate suspended or revoked.

 Please note that a teaching degree from another country must be evaluated and translated by an accredited organization and submitted to DCF for approval.

  • Copy of a five (or more) hour Early Literacy training certificate. If Literacy training was completed after October 1, 2005, it must be the VPK Emergent Literacy course
  • Copy of Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Criminal Background screening completed in the past 5 years
  • Copy of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Background check completed within the last 5 years
  • Copy of Affidavit of Good Moral Character

  Each VPK aide/assistant must have:

  • Copy of Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Criminal Background screening completed in the past 5 years
  • Copy of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Background check completed within the last 5 years
  • Copy of Affidavit of Good Moral Character

Am I required to enroll my child in a VPK Program?

No, the program is voluntary but if your child participates in the VPK  program he or she must be made available for assessment during the first 30 days of kindergarten whether they are attending public or private schools.  Click here for more information.