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Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK)
The Voluntary PreKindergarten (VPK) program prepares four-year-olds for kindergarten. VPK provides the self-management and emergent literacy skills that are critical for a child’s academic success. VPK provides a quality early learning experience at participating private and faith based child care centers, many public schools and Head Start sites, as well as licensed family child care homes. The program is free to all Florida residents regardless of income. Parents have the option of selecting from either a school year program with 540 instructional hours or a summer program that includes 300 instructional hours.
Children are taught emergent literacy skills, such as letter and sound recognition, which are critical for academic success. Each child has access to qualified instructors and age appropriate curricula.
Highlights of the VPK Program
The VPK program is a FREE for all four-year-olds born on or before September 1 each year who reside in Florida. The program has high quality standards that include:
- Qualified instructors
- Age appropriate curricula with a strong emphasis on early literacy skills
- Manageable class sizes
VPK Program Options
Parental choice is a priority; therefore, both private and public providers may participate. VPK providers have flexibility in structuring the hours per day and days per week to meet the required instructional hours:
- School Year Program – 540 instructional hours. Class sizes not to exceed 20 students; instructors must have a minimum of a Child Development Associate for the school year program (now referred to as the Birth to Five Florida Child Care Professional Credential).
- Summer Program – 300 instructional hours. Class sizes not to exceed 12 students; instructors must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.
For a List of 2012 – 2013 Approved Fall VPK Providers please click here
The School Readiness program provides child care assistance to income-eligible Orange County families helping parents access high quality early care and education while they are working to become financially self-sufficient. Parents are provided with information on child development, as well as parental engagement opportunities that incorporate parents as their child’s first teacher.
Children in the school readiness program are given the foundation for not only educational but for life-long success because they are taught the basics of self-care and self-management. The children, who are younger than kindergarten age, develop the social and emotional skills that enable them to take instruction, make friends, express thoughts, and cope with frustration.
Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R)
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) services are available to all Orange Countyfamilies. Whether you are looking for a few hours or a full week of child care for your infant, preschooler, or school age child, CCR&R Specialists are available to help. Please note that we make referrals only, not recommendations. For information on CCR&R services, please call our information line – (407) 522-2252