PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (January 2020) — Registration opened this month for Florida’s 2020-2021 Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK), a state-funded education program offered for free to all children who reside in Florida and will be four years old by September 1. More than 300 centers offer VPK in Pinellas County – a variety of private preschools, public schools, Head Start centers, faith-based sites, charter schools and private childcare centers. Parents who register are given a voucher and are free to choose their child’s VPK provider.
Parents/Grandparents/Caregivers can register children HERE: https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/LogOn.
WHY should your child be enrolled in VPK?
“School doesn’t start in kindergarten anymore, it starts in VPK! Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten program provides the early literacy, math and social and emotional skills they need.” Lindsay Carson, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas, encourages families to participate in this free program, “VPK offers children a play-based experience that builds the foundational skills necessary for academic and lifelong success.”
VPK provides a foundation of academic success for the state’s youngest students, with education aligned with various stages of a child’s development:
• Results of kindergarten screenings show children who complete VPK are better prepared for kindergarten than those who did not complete or did not attend VPK.
• High-quality prekindergarten programs not only help children with kindergarten readiness, but also lead to better school performance and higher graduation rates.
Further information and resources are available at: http://elcpinellas.net/register-for-vpk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-7PCkKD45gIViJyzCh17ZwyDEAAYAiAAEgIYJPD_BwE.
Questions: Please call the Coalition’s VPK team: 727.400.4411, option 3, then option 1.
Note: Parents whose children are born between February 2 and September 1 may postpone enrolling their four-year-old until the following year when their child is five. There are school year and summer VPK programs as well as specialized instructional services for 4-year-olds with special needs.
About: The Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County is a nonprofit agency focused on high-quality early care and education – working with families and childcare providers to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed – in school and in life. New website coming February 2020.