Understanding What Florida VPK Is All About

florida vpk

Jumping right into kindergarten isn’t always easy, but the Florida VPK program is here to help. A VPK program is built to transition your child into kindergarten at the pace that’s right for them and boost their early childhood education experience. But what do children learn in a VPK program? Why is Florida VPK beneficial? We’re here to help you understand all you need to know about the Florida VPK initiative.

What Is Florida VPK?

VPK, meaning voluntary prekindergarten program, is an initiative that helps Floridian children enter kindergarten when they’re ready, boosting early education and instilling confidence. The program is available for four and five-year-olds that live in Florida and is a fully state-funded program. It is designed to help get kids ready for a classroom environment, which would usually be a big jump from what they’re used to. The VPK program teaches early reading and writing and introduces children to key skills they can use for the rest of their academic careers.

So, how is the program offered? There are two VPK program options for eligible children: a year-long program and a summer program. Eligible children must be 4 years old on or before September 1 of the year they want to start the course, and parents can decide to defer for a year until their child is 5. This decision is entirely personal— every child learns at their own pace, and you’ll know best when they’re ready for a pre-kindergarten program.

The year-long program consists of 540 educational hours and is run during term time from September. Alternatively, the summer program consists of 300 educational hours. Instructors will cover the same curriculum no matter which program you choose, and the benefits of the program are evident in both.

The Benefits of a VPK Program

The Florida VPK program has been in practice since 2005, and more than 2.6 million children have benefited from this early education boost. The skills they learn in this curriculum help them as they progress through kindergarten and beyond and assist at one of the most important development stages in your child’s lifetime.

Social Skills and Independence

Young children need practice when developing their social skills and independence, both of which rely on each other. In a VPK program, children learn how to interact with others in a team, do work by themselves, and how to express themselves. The curriculum contains early learning tasks that teach so much more than just academic work— making the jump to kindergarten so much less stressful.

Fine Motor Skills and Literacy

Early literacy is highly linked to fine motor skills. Between daycare and kindergarten, children develop the proper skills for holding pencils, pens, and crayons, and this is connected to early writing in a VPK program.

Learning by Play

Most importantly, children learn and develop these skills through play. While kindergarten starts a more structured classroom routine, young children in the VPK program learn by play and exploration. This sparks interest and curiosity and bridges the gap between daycare learning and kindergarten learning. This is a natural progression for each child, making the transition to a classroom easier.

VPK at Parkland Children’s Academy

VPK programs are available at many providers, including here at Parkland Children’s Academy. We pride ourselves on delivering a VPK program that is enriching and entertaining, built to help children balance their early learning skills and prepare for kindergarten. If you’d like to hear more about our VPK program, give us a call at 954-688-5877.

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