Does Anyone Know the Process of Getting Accepted to Public Pre-K??

Updated on April 25, 2007
T.C. asks from Inverness, FL
15 answers

Well i've been trying to get my daughter into pre-k since this school year started, they told me enrollment started march 1st.. But they did send me a little "test" for me to do with my daughter, and we did it and sent it back.. We also filled out the application for pre-k and i even went to register for vpk... And so i feel i have done everything on my end but everytime i call the school board to ask what comes next they just give me the run around..
We also had received a postcard in the mail saying we would be recieving the final screening package in the mail shortly and had never received anything. This wouldn't be such a big deal but i feel my daughter should be starting kindergarden instead of pre- k. She will be 5 in oct.. So she missed the deadline for kindergarden by a month and a half.. I'm sure she is not the only child who missed the deadline but she also has no friends and is stuck with her baby sisters day after day and i feel as though she is not expanding socially as other kids her age would be.
So here we are 4 months before the school year starts and i've heard nothing..
Has anyone been through this before???
I just feel that if all i have done was for nothing and i have to do it all over again next year i would die... Public pre-k is basically my only chance because they provide busses just like kindergarden and i have no transpertation of my own so i couldn't get her to another pre-k.
So please if anyone has been through this let me know what to expect.. And how long it takes
thanks

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B.W.

answers from Tampa on

Are you talking about special needs or the EELP program for developmental delay? That is is only preschools I know of in the school system. If this is the case email me as I know about this first hand. My son recieves speech at the Davis Elem. preschool. Email is [email protected]____.com

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L.B.

answers from Sarasota on

Hi T.,
I don't know how much help I'll be, but last week I started the pre-registration process for VPK for my son, who will turn 5 in October, just like your little girl. So I thought I'd respond, even though I know you're specifically looking for people who have already gone through it, not necessarily people who are just starting the process. Anyway, unlike you, I am VERY glad my son has the extra year, because at our kids' age the boys generally seem to be a bit less mature than the girls, and sometimes (most of the time?!?) less able/willing to follow instructions. In fact, I'm sure that if he had a summer b'day I'd hold him back the extra year. I'll also say that I have been a music teacher for many years (I'm an older mom) and I have seen many kids who have fall/winter birthdays -- therefore are almost a year older than their peers -- and this is pretty much always a good situation for them academically AND socially.

Now, for some info that might be of help. I am new to Mamasource and this is my first time responding to anyone. But if I understand the concept of Mamasource correctly, we are connected only with other moms in our area. I am in Manatee County, FL, maybe you are too. If so, have you contacted the Early Learning Coalition in Bradenton? Their phone number is ###-###-####, and they are located at 1112 Manatee Avenue. Their website is www. manateeschoolreadiness.org. If you live elsewhere, I think that there are similar agencies pretty much everywhere. I also think that the system is structured in such a way that we're supposed to deal with these agencies instead of dealing with the local school board. I found the online registration process to be very easy. After completing the online registration I called their office and wound up talking to an amazing woman -- definitely the world's most caring and helpful government employee ever... I wish I'd gotten her name!! She told me that this year's VPK "Roundup" will be on Saturday, April 28, at Palmetto High. You can attend, just bring all the required forms. And get there early!

I won't bore you with any other particulars, since I'm not even sure if we live in the same county. If you are in my county and want more info, I'd be glad to help. I would like to close with this thought: your daughter is NOT stuck with no friends! I notice you said you have 3 girls ages 2,3 and 4. She has two best friends for life!! My son is, and always will be an only child, so he's "stuck" at home with Mom and Dad. I bet he'd love to have two siblings!!

Take care and hang in there.

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A.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

T.,
Here is the phone number to call.
PreK, Voluntary ###-###-####

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D.P.

answers from Jacksonville on

T., when you went to register for VPK, they should have given you a yellow copy of what you submitted to give to the school of your choice. Now, you should chose a school in your area or area of your choice that has a vpk program. If they still have space in their classes, the yellow form will serve as your admission.

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S.R.

answers from Jacksonville on

have u tried head start both my girls went there pretty much the same as pre k if you are accepted for it they start there at 3 http://www.jaxul.org/ this is the link im not sure the number but they provide transportation and also have after school care if needed hope this helps one of my friends was trying to get her lil boy in the prek but they also gave her the run around

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R.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

HI you can go to any lapite academy and they will guide you through all the step . It is 100% free here in duval county. R.

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A.A.

answers from Tampa on

Hi T., You are not getting the run around but instead you are going through the VPK process for Citrus County public schools. This is normal. The director who runs the program is wonderful and she has each child's best interest. I have also enrolled my son to see if he would qualify. Your child will be going through a screening process and the district will then decide which children need the service the most. I hope this helps, A.

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V.Y.

answers from Pensacola on

T.,
I am not sure what to say here except that I believe that you shouldn't be worrying about Pre-K. You should be trying to get her registered for kindergarden. I would think that her being 5 in October that she would still be eligable to be in kindergarden this year. I know that where I am, it is like the end of October that is the cut off date for a child to be 5 in order for them to be able to start kindergarden. If in fact, she is not able to start kindergarden this year, the way that I had to enroll my oldest in pre-k was go down to children and families and they did it there. I have to do that with my youngest daughter this year. I do know that the head start program in my area goes by not only your income but also if the child has special needs or not and also if they have a space available. If she is going to be 5 in October, I would push to have her enrolled in kindergarden and not pre-k. I do know thay VPK is completely free in the state of Fla and they don't go by income but you have to be able to take the child to the school. My oldest missed the cut off date this year to go to kindergarden back in August by 2 months and therefore she had to go to VPK. I would just make a few phone calls, not necessarily to the school board but to other agencies like Children and Families(daycare/pre-k) department and see what they say. Hope I helped. Have a blessed day!!

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J.W.

answers from Tallahassee on

T.,
My daughter started pre-k 3 last year and all I had to do was find a school to send her too that wasn't full. I made sure the pre-school she is currently enrolled in also accepts volunteer pre-k kids. So, when it came to to register her for volunteer pre-k, all I did was register her with the state for then give the paper they gave me to her school when I registered her for the fall. As far as I know there is no packet.

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S.

answers from Jacksonville on

Not sure if you live in GA or FL but in GA they had the registration in March and for public Pre-K at the schools it is a lottery. So if you child does not get drawn in the lottery then the only other chance for him/her to get into a pre-k program would be to send them to a daycare setting like here it is Childtime, LaPetite or Krayons. Not sure how they do things in FL if it is the same or not. But I do know that in GA they have already drawn the names for the lottery for Pre-k.

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S.S.

answers from Tampa on

Ok... Your daughter will be eligible for VPK coming this fall -- NO she can not go to kindergarten as she has missed the deadline -- I know as I have a boy who was born in Sep. and so I researched and went to several public schools -- They go by the rule -- You can take her to private school for 2 years and then she can start 2nd grade in public but I am not sure if you would like to do that.
I do not think that most VPK provides transportation -- who told you that? I have never heard that and my two kids are in VPK this year .. at times I had to pay someone $10 to just pick them up if I am late from work. Please let me know if you have the transportation info from reliable source, it will help me as I still have 5 weeks left and I have to rush and worry every day (For the late charges for 2 kids).
You need to go to a VPK place -- there is one in Brandon - and get the Paper/certificate that your daughter is eligible -- and then take it to daycare that offers VPK ... call ahead as most of good ones get filled very quickly.
I am unable to understand what difficulty you are facing .. everything is on the internet -- the rules and where you need to go to get the paperwork -- The only difficult part is to find a good daycare which has VPK program and is not full.
Send me an email if you need any other info.
Take Care

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A.B.

answers from Tampa on

i am not sure of the area you live in- but in pasco vpk is not provided by the school board. you have to go to youth and family alternatives, then they will give you a list of the daycare centers that are doing vpk. you have to contact the daycare centers yourself- the classes are between 15-20 hours a week. for pre-k, you have to sign up at a school-not all schools provide pre-k, and you don't get info until july when they make there decision. calling the school board will not help.
differences: (in pasco) vpk does not have buss transportation, they also focus on academics, some not as much. pre-k is with the school- so there are busses (parents have to be with the child to be picked up and dropped off for the bus to stop), also pre-k focus is manly on social skills- not academics.
my 3rd child turned 6 last oct. so he is 2 years older than your daughter- and i know what you are talking about. my 3 oldest were all born 'after the cut off'. but so are most kids in school.
if you live in pasco you can call yfa @ ###-###-####, and either get the info and the number for a closer yfa.

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D.

answers from Sarasota on

Hi T.- here are some links regarding VPK in Florida
http://www.floridajobs.org/VPK/index.html

It's a quick process and once you have her registered she can participate in the program for the fall.
D.

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A.

answers from Tampa on

T....Public Pre-K(Head Start) & VPK are 2 totally different things. In FL, the passed the law stating every child at the age of 4 is entitled to FREE pre-k, thru the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program. There is NO income requirement for this program, only valid immunizations and proof of residency(I put my son in it last year which was the first year they started it). But you should know in thia program its either schooling during the regular school year OR the summer program. For some odd reason you can't get both. They state only allows so many hours for each child. Now, for public Pre-K, thru Hillsborough county Head Start program, they are quite a bit of restrictions, the #1 restriction is income. I am not sure if you did attempt to register thru the Head Start program, but they WILL indeed give you the run around if you call to their office. I too tried to enroll my son in head start, filled out all the papers, rcvd a post card, even rcvd info of when they were having registration. Everything was complete, but my son ultimately never got in because of my income. I believe you may have registered your child for the head start program, because VPK does not provide transportation. Not sure what county your in, but VPK is FREE no matter what county, and the Head start program is free or it could be subsidized depending on your income. Let me know if this helps, I have knowledge of both these programs and I truly prefer the Head Start program to VPK. I had my daughter at a young age, and was fortunate to have her in the program, and it was GREAT.

Let me know if this helps.

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R.W.

answers from Tampa on

Hi T., first you need to locate a center that offers VPK and go talk to them. Get her registered at the center. They will tell you what forms you need from the county. VPK is through the county, but through private centers, so the county won't enroll your daughter for you even if you have filled out the forms through them. I have twin boys and they attend preschool and I have registered them at the center where they go now. But I had to physically register them. It wasn't automatic. You might need to check with several places to find an opening. good luck. R.

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