VPK Frequently Asked Questions

What is Florida’s VPK Program?

The Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program or VPK is a state funded educational program designed to help build a strong educational foundation and readiness for Kindergarten.

How old are children who enroll in VPK?

Children who turn 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the program year are eligible to attend VPK. In addition, as of July 2016, parents with children born between Feb. 2 through Sept. 1 may postpone enrolling their child in VPK the year they turn 4 and wait until the following year when their child is 5, as long as the child has not yet been admitted to kindergarten.

Once a child has started kindergarten, does the child remain eligible to postpone VPK?

No. By law, a child is no longer eligible for VPK once he or she enrolls in kindergarten.

Can children 3 and younger enroll in the VPK program?

No. VPK is only available if the child meets the requirements described in question two.

What options do I have for enrolling my child in VPK?

Can my child skip VPK and advance to Kindergarten?

Florida law (Section 1003.21(1)(a)2, Florida Statutes) says a child must be 5 years old on or before September 1 to be eligible for admission to kindergarten in public schools.

When can I apply for the VPK Certificate and begin the registration process for the upcoming school year?

Parents may apply for the VPK Eligibility Certificate by completing your child's VPK application in the Family Portal beginning Jan. 1 of the program year. For example, select the link to login to the Family Portal Account Logon for School Readiness and VPK to apply for the 2021-22 program year beginning on Jan 1, 2021.

Where do I go to apply for the VPK Eligibility Certificate?

To apply for the VPK program, select the link to login to the Family Portal Account Logon for School Readiness and VPK website to complete the application online.

Where does my child attend VPK?

The program is available at select schools with limited enrollment. Parents may apply for VPK at the school site their child is zoned to attend. Select link to find the zoned schools for your address.

What if my zoned school doesn’t offer VPK, what do I do then? Why doesn’t my zoned school offer VPK?

VPK is not offered in every elementary school due to space limitations. If your zoned school does not offer VPK, you may select any school that does offer; your child will automatically be wait listed during open registration until space becomes available. All of our schools give priority and preference to their zoned students first.

What happens if the VPK program is full and my child cannot attend?

Space is limited and provided on a first come, first serve basis. Each class may have no more than 20 children enrolled. Home zoned children are placed first. Out-of-zone children will be placed if space is available. Parents may choose to place their child on the waiting list at the school or parents can choose a private VPK provider.

Where can families find a list of private VPK Providers in their area?

VPK Providers can be found on the Department of Children and Families CARES website. Select link to do a VPK Provider Search.

What is the difference between full and half day and why doesn’t my school offer full day? How can I get my child into a full day program?

In order for a child to attend a full-day VPK program, they must reside in a Title I school attendance zone. Title I schools receive services from federal aid to level the academic playing field for children victimized by poverty. Title I funds supplement the state seat time for students by funding the afternoon program allowing students to have a full day program. The state funds half day programs in all other schools who opt to participate based on student/parent need and space availability on the school campus. Half day programs consist of three hours in the AM only or may offer an AM/PM program.

Can I transfer my child to another provider?

Yes. A child may only re-enroll in VPK if they have not completed more than 70 percent of the instructional hours:

  • 378 hours for school-year
  • 210 hours for summer
  • More than 70 percent of the funding authorized for a child enrolled in VPK SIS

Can my child attend the VPK program more than once?

No. A child may only attend VPK once, either during the school year or during the summer session.

How do families document residency if they are homeless?

The rule allows families to submit documents showing that the child is homeless and resides in Florida such as a homeless referral or Student Residency Questionnaire from the local district (OCPS Student Residency Questionnaires can be found at this link), a letter from a homeless shelter or a notarized statement from the child's parent.

Is bus transportation available?

No. Florida law specifies that each parent is responsible for the transportation of his or her child to and from the VPK program.

What documentation should VPK providers accept to enroll a child in their VPK program?

There are two documents a provider may accept - the Child Certificate of Eligibility (Form OEL-VPK 02) or the Certificate of Eligibility for Reenrollment (Form OEL-VPK 04). Select the link for additional Registration Requirements to register a child to attend Orange County Public Schools.

Is before/after care provided?

Some schools offer VPK students before/after school care. It is best to contact the school directly to inquire if this service is available for VPK students.

Is regular attendance required for children enrolled in VPK?

Yes. Parents are encouraged to bring their child to school on a daily basis, as they are more likely to succeed in kindergarten when they attend VPK consistently.

For more information, please contact Orange County Public Schools VPK Department at (407) 250-6260 ext. 6352255 or by email at [email protected].