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 (VPK) Education Program prepares early learners for success in kindergarten and beyond. Children must live in Florida and be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the current school year to be eligible. The program helps build a strong foundation for school using educational materials that are geared to various stages in a child’s development.
A school-year program provides 540 hours of instruction with class sizes of no more than 20 children. Parents who have 4-year-old children with special needs may choose the VPK Specialized Instructional Services educational program, where certified or licensed professionals provide instruction in individual or small group settings. This option requires the child to have a current individual education plan from a local school district.
Children who attend high-quality preschool do much better when they get to kindergarten, and this makes an enormous difference for their later success.