In 2005, Florida became one of the first states in the U.S. to offer prekindergarten for all 4-year olds. The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs are free, not income based, and give all children the opportunity to experience early education. The program, signed into law, by then Governor Jeb Bush, is designed to expose children to literature, language, social skills, and prepare them for a brighter future. Research has shown children soak up information in their early years and VPK early learning programs feed that innate desire to learn and ultimately benefit the children their entire life.
Since the program began in August 2005, thousands and thousands of 4-year olds have attended VPK for free, preparing them for kindergarten and their future academic careers. Overall, VPK also opens doors for a brighter future for the students as well as their future families and communities.
In Florida, Voluntary Prekindergarten is operated in approved private, public, and specialized educational sites. ABC Learning Center is one such site, proud to offer free VPK to nurture these young, strong minds in the quest to help them reach their full potential now and in the educational school years ahead.
The Benefits of VPK
Early childhood education is important and VPK is a great way for parents, like you, to gain easy access to the success it offers for you children even before they head off to kindergarten. In case, you aren’t sure, let’s explore the benefits of VPK, both tangible and intangible.
- In the structured learning environment of VPK, your child will increase his or her attention span as well as the ability to follow directions, a great plus when entering the more formal setting of kindergarten.
- In VPK, studies have shown children emerge better prepared for kindergarten – 79 percent are kindergarten ready versus 55 percent of non-VPK students.
- Literacy and language skills are a large part of VPK standards which helps your child develop better social skills (and less behavioral issues) when entering kindergarten and builds a strong foundation for the future.
- Children who participate in VPK programs score higher on the School Readiness test. In addition, the readiness scores continue to rise as do future success measures for these children.
- VPK teaching and fun make education entertaining and will instill a lifetime love of learning in your child.
- The early exposure to literature included in VPK helps your child develop a love of reading and language and promotes higher reading levels throughout school.
- In VPK, your child will learn to play and work together with his or her peers.
- Children in VPK programs show greatest improvement in their math, reading, and social skills.
- In the first five years of your child’s life, 90 percent of core brain structure is formed; VPK standards work to enhance that formation particularly in language, math, and reading – the building blocks of education.
Choosing a VPK Program for Your Child
You can choose the location and the timing of your child’s Voluntary Prekindergarten experience – public or private. Other flexible options include school year VPK – 540 hours of classroom learning with 20 students or less or summer VPK – 300 hours of educational learning with 12 students or less. All VPK programs are required to maintain a ratio of no more than 11 students per teacher so appropriate one-on-one time is provided. Children with special needs receive Specialized Instructional Services, with smaller group settings.
VPK at ABC
ABC Learning Center grants even more flexibility with wrap-around care coupled with VPK hours. To enroll your child, for free, in the VPK program, all you need is proof of Florida residency and proof of your child’s age. Getting started is easy, simply fill out the application here.