Early Childhood

Click here to apply for a state VPK Certificate.

The Department of Early Childhood Education

Providing and supporting quality programs for young children
OVERVIEW: School Year 2017 – 2018


Department of Early Childhood Education
(561) 434-8720

Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County
(561) 514-3300

Children’s Services Council

Palm Beach County Public Schools Head Start and Early Head Start Office
(561) 963-3836


The School District of Palm Beach County participates in the Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program by offering both school year and summer programs at select elementary and high schools. Students who are four years of age by September 1 of a school year may participate in either a 540-hour free VPK program during the school year or a 300-hour free VPK program during the summer, but not both.

All VPK programs provide enriched educational experiences to ensure that children are prepared academically and socially to enter kindergarten. Both public schools and private providers may offer the free VPK program. To help promote high-quality services, the School District actively participates in the countywide Strong Minds Network in partnership with the Children’s Services Council, the Early Learning Coalition, Palm Beach State College, and the Children’s Forum. The School District manages the Technical Assistance component of the Strong Minds Network.

The School District offers Summer VPK and five VPK School-year program models, including year-round Head Start. School-year models provide VPK and optional enrichment hours. Florida law mandates that VPK students not be required to participate in enrichment or other program hours above those provided free of charge through a VPK Certificate as a condition of enrollment or charge fees for VPK services.

For information on each VPK enrichment program model, review the chart below and click the icons below. To access Summer VPK information, click here, Summer VPK.

The District Operates Several Program Models
Click on the “plus” signs below to see programs by school.
VPK & Title I Model

6-Hour Day

Prioritizes Academically Needy,
Must Live in School Attendance Zone
Apply at Schools
Afterschool May be Available; Fees Apply

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VPK & Migrant PreK

10-Hour Day

Must be Deemed “Migrant Eligible”
Apply at Schools; No Fees

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VPK & Head Start

10-Hour Day

Must be Deemed “Head Start Eligible”
Low-Income Priority
Apply at Schools; No Fees

Learn More

VPK & Parent Fee

6-Hour Day

VPK and Parent Fee Agreement;
Attendance Zone Priority
Enroll at Schools
Afterschool May be Available; Fees Apply

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15 schools | 22 classes | 440 student capacity

VPK & ESE Inclusion

6-Hour Day

50% Community Students;
50% Students with Disabilities
Community Students Enroll at Schools;
Students with Disabilities are Placed; No fees

Learn More