Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Programs

Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) and Head Start Programs
Florida created the free Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program for all 4-year-olds, regardless of family income. VPK prepares early learners for success in kindergarten and beyond. The District offers both the school year (part day) and summer (full day) VPK programs in most, but not all elementary schools. Parents may choose to have their child attend one, but not both VPK programs. To participate, children must turn 4-years-old by September 1 of the year prior to kindergarten entry, be residents of Palm Beach County, and have a VPK Certificate of Eligibility. However, the state allows parents with children who turn four between February 2 and September 1 to postpone enrollment until the following year. 

The District’s VPK classroom teaching teams are comprised of a certified teacher and credentialed assistant teacher. Teaching teams implement a research-based curriculum aligned to the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards. Our schools offer opportunities for children living within their boundary areas to attend VPK where their siblings also attend elementary school. 

Families whose children are enrolled in the District’s school year, part day, VPK program may choose to have their children attend enrichment hours that extend the VPK program hours, creating a seamless 6-hour day. Grants, contracts and other funding sources pay for the enrichment hours in VPK programs located in Title I schools. In Title I VPK programs, enrollment has certain requirements, such as living in the school’s boundary area. VPK programs offered in non-Title I schools offer the enrichment hours through parent fees. Eligible parents may use School Readiness (subsidy) vouchers to pay parent fees. Some schools also offer VPK wraparound hours from 2:00 p.m. up to 6:00 p.m., on a parent fee basis. Until all VPK seats are filled, schools will continue to enroll students.

Steps to enroll include:
Step 1: Obtain a VPK Certificate
Obtain a VPK Certificate of Eligibility through Florida’s Early Learning Family Portal. For assistance, contact the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County, call (561) 434-8720, or send an email to beverly.sears@palmbeachschools.org. Para obtener ayuda en español, comunìquese con Nelly Cruz al (561) 432-6347 o nelly.cruz@palmbeachschools.org.

Step 2: Find Your School
Visit Find My School to identify your home school.
Step 3: Determine Options
Visit our “School Sites with VPK Programs” page to determine if your home school offers VPK.  If your home school does not offer VPK, call (561) 434-8720 or send an email to beverly.sears@palmbeachschools.org to discuss alternative options. 
Step 4: Contact Your School Call your identified school to determine if your child qualifies for the VPK program offered at that school, and if the school has open VPK seats.
Step 5: Register for a Seat Register for a VPK seat by visiting the school. Bring your child’s VPK Certificate, birth certificate, two proofs of address, and current Health and Immunization forms. Complete a New/Returning Student Registration Form in your preferred language online or at the school.

Head Start and Early Head Start The District also offers Head Start and Early Head Start programs in ten elementary schools. The Head Start program serves low-income families on a year round, 10-hours per day basis. To apply, complete an online Head Start Preliminary Application. For assistance or information, call (561) 963-3835 or send an email to kathryn.harrison@palmbeachschools.org.

For Assistance
Contact the District’s Department of Early Childhood Education for additional information by calling (561) 969-5884 or sending an email to m.j.steele@palmbeachschools.org.

Florida VPK Logo
Click here to apply for a Florida VPK Certificate

For other helpful websites, click the links below

The School District of Palm Beach County