13 answers

Free Preschool??

Hey ladies,
Can any of you tell me about the free preschool program that Florida supposedly participates in? A neighbor mentioned it to me the other day, but didn't know too much about it, and I'm not having much luck finding something helpful on the internet about it. I guess the program is just for 4 year olds. Do the options of prechools include private ones?
If any of you know about it, could you tell me where to start and share your experience with it if any.
Thanks in advance!
J.

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The "free" part is "voluntary pre-K" designed to bring all 4yrs old up to speed to meet incoming kindergarten requirements with other kids that have been in a preschool or daycare setting for at least a year. Look for any school that advertises "VPK provider" and they participate. Basically the state funds the learning - morning part. So it is free to the public. The school charges if you opt for full day, thus the afternoon part which comprises nap and outdoor play. Good luck,

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Hi J., the free preschool you are referring to is "VPK" which stands for Voluntary PreSchool which starts at 4yrs old. You can find a list of schools that participate in at "http://www.fldoe.org/earlylearning/providers.asp" as not all schools participate in the program. Usually it is M-F from 9am-12N; however, if you would like for your child to be there longer, you can pay for the difference in hrs but the 9-12 hrs are what the State of Florida pays for. I hope this helps, good luck to you!

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Hi J.! Welcome to the area! Yes, Florida does provide free preschool for a half day to 4 year olds. It is accepted at ant school that allows it. Both private and public do accept it, but some schools don't offer preschool. You can google "VPK" and the county you live in and you should get to the web site that will give you all the info you need. They can send you a list of schools in your area that participate with the program. Good Luck!

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Yes! Absolutely. It is called Voluntary Pre Kindergarten. It is FREE for all four year olds in our state. Here is the website that tells you all about it!

http://vpkhelp.org/

My four year old daughter is taking advantange of the program this year and it is really great! She is in a private day school and there are many out there doing the same thing. I know that there are also full day programs out there and it just reduces your cost to have her in a program all day.

Best of luck!

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Hey J., how are you? What your neighbor was talking about is the VPK program ... it is only for pre-kindergarten level and it doesn't cover the whole amount you pay. Most private programs deviate from the mandated program so they do not offer a VPK discount.

Good luck!

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The "free" part is "voluntary pre-K" designed to bring all 4yrs old up to speed to meet incoming kindergarten requirements with other kids that have been in a preschool or daycare setting for at least a year. Look for any school that advertises "VPK provider" and they participate. Basically the state funds the learning - morning part. So it is free to the public. The school charges if you opt for full day, thus the afternoon part which comprises nap and outdoor play. Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J., when my daughter was 4 years old we enrolled her in the VPK program at an awsome private school where she got off to a great start.
I can't tell you anything about the current VPK scene, but here is a link to more info.
Good luck, and welcome to Tampa Bay.

L. http://www.vpkflorida.org

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The VPK program is for ALL children that are 4 yrs old as of Sept 1 of that year. It is a 540 hour plan: 3 hours per day, 5 days a week. You can go to public school, private school, even home daycares that are licensed to teach VPK.

But, is for only 3 hours of the day. If you want a full day, you have to pay for the "wrap around" hours of care. That fee depends on the school of choice.

Good luck!

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J. -
My daughter attends St Paul Child Enrichment in Carrollwood on Stall and Dale Mabry. WE LOVE IT! It is a private school. I checked out 12 different schools when she was 3 years old and immediatly filled out the paperwork when I visited the school. Tuition is very inexpensive - they have a 2 day week program and a 3 day a week program for 3 year olds. They attend school from 8:15 until 11:30 and have one day a week that they can stay for lunch bunch until 1:00.

They are VPK (Voluntary Pre Kindergarten) Certified. VPK is the free Florida Pre Kindergarten that you are referring to. My daughter is now 4 years old and attends the VPK program there. It is 5 days a week from 8:15 until 12:00. And can stay one day a week for lunch bunch until 1:30. The tuition is free. If you would like teacher referrals E-mail me with any questions.

____@____.com

K.

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The program is called Voluntary PreKindergarten or VPK for short. Here's a link to the information posted on Pinellas County Schools website: http://www.pinellas.k12.fl.us/forParents/vpk.html

I believe almost all preschools offer the VPK program.

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Hi J.. Welcome to Florida! I just wanted to add one other point regarding the hours of VPK. My daughter attends a private preschool that offers VPK. The hours that the state pays for are 15 hours per week. Therefore, some schools, such as ours, offers either a 3 day a week program for 5 hours per day (M,W,F) OR Mon. through Fri. for 3 hours per day.

Basically it depends on the school and what they want to offer. I know a lot of SAHMs prefer the 3 day a week because it is less travel back and forth AND it gives the kids some experience eating lunch at school prior to kindergarten where they go all day, 5 days a week.

Good luck!
D.

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If you call coordinated child care they can give you all the info your looking for. I believe the VPK ( pre kindergarden) can be done even at private school, but they do have a minimum age requirement. good luck
G.

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The free pre-school program is called VPK. It usually pays for either 1/2 days of preschool 5 days per week, or whole days 2 or 3 days per week. Usually you can add to it by paying for the other half, or your child can just go for half the week if that's all you want. There are lots of preschools that are VPK providers,including some private and church-based ones. To enroll, first you need to get a certificate of eligibility from the early childhood education office. For pasco, it is in an industrial park south off Ridge Road just east of Congress. They will give you your certificate and a list of providers with what each one offers for your VPK certificate. Then you take the certificate to the program you want, and the state pays for your child to go to preschool there. If you want a program that is in another county, you have to get the certificate from that county's office.
Yvonne B.

1 mom found this helpful

Coordinated Childcare provides scholarships for low income families, babies and precshoolers. They also provide the vouchers for the VPK program (4 yrs. old) which covers apx. half the day during the school year only. You can get more information at http://www.childcarepinellas.org

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