At What Age Should I Send My Child to VPK?


At What Age Should I Send My Child to VPK?


Parents and caregivers of four-year-olds in Florida have access to one of the most innovative preschool programs in the United States at no cost to them. Voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) programs are available throughout the state, giving children free access to high-quality pre-K programs that can prepare them to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.

Children in VPK programs learn essential literacy, math, and social skills that provide a solid foundation for kindergarten learning. Research shows that children who attend high-quality preschool programs have better outcomes in school, including better performance and fewer behavior issues.

Sending your child to a VPK is a decision that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. But when should you send your child to VPK?

This article will detail what happens in a VPK, the benefits of this incredible program, and when you can send your child to voluntary prekindergarten. Reach out to the dedicated team at New Horizons Learning Center now to learn about our exceptional VPK programs or to schedule a tour of our school.

What is VPK?

Voluntary prekindergarten, or VPK, is a program the state of Florida provides to every 4-year-old. This incredible, free program lets children enroll in high-quality preschool education in the year before kindergarten.

VPK programs are designed to bridge the gap between play-based preschool programs or daycare and kindergarten. Children can attend a VPK throughout the school year and during the summer in the year before they begin kindergarten.

Voluntary prekindergarten programs follow a curriculum that focuses on essential pre-kindergarten skills, such as literacy, social-emotional learning, math, and science. The curriculum gives children many opportunities to learn and develop skills through play, sensory activities, and hands-on learning.

At What Age Should I Send My Child to VPK?

In Florida, children can enroll in a VPK if their child turns four on or before September 1st. Parents may choose to send their child as soon as they turn four or wait until the following year when their child is five.

Voluntary prekindergarten programs run during the school year and include 540 hours of instructional time. Summertime VPK programs typically begin as early as May and include 300 hours of instruction.

How Does a VPK Prepare Children For Kindergarten?

Florida is a leader in early childhood education. By providing VPK programs at no cost to families, the state is taking significant action to help children have the best outcomes in kindergarten and beyond.

VPK programs in Florida help young learners build a solid foundation of skills, knowledge, and resources that will help them thrive in school. They focus on literacy, math, and science skills that will benefit children as they are introduced to broader concepts later and social skills that can help them contribute to a classroom community.

Here is a brief overview of what children learn in a VPK to prepare for kindergarten.

Literacy skills

Children need a good foundation of pre-literacy skills to learn how to read, write, and understand more complex concepts later on. One of the most important aims of a VPK is to introduce children to reading and writing through developmentally appropriate learning activities. Children in a VPK learn to recognize letters and letter sounds, explore writing, and engage in many other age-appropriate pre-literacy activities.

Math and science

Children in VPK programs explore their environment and make connections to math and science concepts. Skilled educators provide many hands-on learning experiences related to numbers, counting, and simple science.

Children in a VPK may sing songs, read stories, and do classroom activities that help them build a foundation of knowledge in numbers and simple math skills. They also learn about plants, weather, animals, and many other things in the natural world through sensory play and developmentally appropriate activities.

Social skills

Children have better outcomes in kindergarten and throughout school when they have well-developed social skills. A VPK program focuses on the social and emotional aspects of learning and helps kids develop the skills they’ll need to be good classroom community members.

Children learn to identify feelings, develop empathy, practice listening to a teacher, and more. Through a play-based VPK program, children become better listeners and communicators and are better prepared to work with others in a classroom setting.

A VPK program can give your child the solid foundation of skills and knowledge they’ll need to start kindergarten with confidence. Children who participate in voluntary prekindergarten programs may have smoother transitions into kindergarten and more self-esteem during the earliest years of elementary school.

Learn More About Starting a VPK Program

If you are the parent or caregiver of a four-year-old and you live in Florida, your child is likely eligible to enroll in one of Florida’s incredible VPK programs. At New Horizons Learning Center, we offer high-quality, enriching voluntary prekindergarten programs taught by experienced educators who are invested in all children’s success.

Reach out to the New Horizons Learning Center team now with questions, to learn about our incredible VPK program, or to schedule a tour of our school. We look forward to meeting you and your child!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *