Hey Mamas! Did you know that in Palm Beach County they offer FREE VPK for children the year before they enter kindergarten? Actually, if you live anywhere in the state of Florida, and your child turns 4 years old prior to September 1, they are eligible to participate in this program!
What does VPK stand for? Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten.
How many hours a day is my child in school? Each school is slightly different, but they will be in school for 540 hours total. Usually, it’s three hours a day, but some places offer extended days or an extra half hour. Anything over the 540 hours (3 hours per day) is paid for by the parent.
What are the steps? I’m so glad you asked!
- Register at this website here. First you need to form an account, then log in and fill out forms. You can do this as early as January 1.
- Wait and look daily for the voucher! It should take no more than 10 days for it to arrive in your email inbox.
- While you wait, tour the schools in your area! Google which schools accept the VPK voucher and go see which one is the best fit for your family/time schedule.
- Once you have chosen your school, ask them when their enrollment opens to the public. Some schools fill up QUICK. Like, within the first half hour of the first day that they open enrollment. I would get a gauge on how quickly spots of filled up in the past for your school of choice, and plan on being there accordingly. The school my son went to had open enrollment as early as mid-February last year!
- Have your voucher and paperwork ready to go!
Here’s some questions to ask when touring schools:
- What sets your school apart from others in the area?
- How do you prepare children for kindergarten?
- What is an example of the students’ daily schedule?
- What are the start and finish times each day?
- How long is recess?
- What is the snack policy?
- What is the discipline policy?
Some questions to ask once you have chosen the school:
- What is the date and time of open enrollment?
- How many spots/classes do you have available and how quickly have they filled in the past?
- What documents do I need to bring (in addition to the voucher) the day I sign my child up?
Do you have a child that participated in VPK, Mama? My son went to an awesome school last year called Church In The Gardens! I was so pleased with our experience there. Do you have any tips for other Mamas? Share below, I’d love to hear from you!