Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) was established by constitutional amendment passed by Florida's voters in Nov. 2002. This amendment required a voluntary prekindergarten program be made available for all four-year-old children by fall 2005. House Bill 1-A was signed into law by Governor Bush on January 2, 2005, creating a program designed to prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. As indicated by the name of the program, this program is voluntary and parents may choose to enroll their child if they wish. In order for a child to be eligible for VPK for a given school year, a child must be four years old by September 1 and be residing in Florida. VPK is a FREE program and no fees may be charged to parents enrolling their child in VPK.
VPK is offered during the school year and during the summer months. Children who attend a VPK program during the school year are not eligible for the summer VPK program (immediately before the school year for which the child is eligible for kindergarten) unless they have attended less than 54 hours during the school year enrollment. School year VPK programs provide 540 hours of instruction while summer VPK programs are required to provide 300 instructional hours. VPK is offered in a variety of settings including licensed child care centers, public schools, faith-based child care programs and family child care homes. Daily program hours and program calendar are determined by each VPK provider.
Understanding the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Assessment as a Parent! Click Here for information.
For a list of certified VPK providers in Okaloosa and Walton Counties: Click Here.
VPK programs in Okaloosa and Walton counties are certified annually by the Early Learning Coalition of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
Each year, children leaving VPK programs are screened when they enter kindergarten to determine their readiness for school.
From these screening scores, each VPK program is given a Readiness Rate based on the scores of the children enrolled in their program the previous year.
To access Readiness Rates for local providers: Click Here.
If you wish to enroll your child in Florida's VPK Program with a provider in Okaloosa or Walton County contact:
Ashleigh Roberson, 833-9330, Okaloosa Walton Child Care Services or Sharon Pierce, 892-8560 in Walton County.