The A-Z of VPK in Florida From a Free VPK Provider
Kindergarten is an integral and essential aspect of childhood education as well as development. The kindergarten that your child attends will shape their mind, learning ability, and thinking. What the VPK program aims to do is to prepare children for kindergarten, essentially giving them a head start on developing skills which are pertinent to learning and social interaction. Here are some useful details about the VPK program that Providence Children’s Academy (a free VPK provider) is part of:
Firstly, it is completely FREE for all children who live in Florida and who turn 4 years of age by September 1. There are various public and private VPK institutions which parents have a choice to choose from, so you can choose the school that you feel is best suited and still not pay a penny. There are many free VPK providers and institutions to choose from – public, private, faith based, and care based. There are also two VPK program options to choose from: one being a full year program in which 540 instructional hours are used, and the other being a summer program in which 300 instructional hours are used. An important thing to note is that enrollment starts in March and programs start in August. There are application forms which need to be filled out and processed so that you receive a certificate to hand over to your free VPK provider for enrollment.
The VPK focuses on literacy – reading and writing, and social skills, because of the VPK objective of preparing children for full-time kindergarten. The program follows the Department of Education guidelines which emphasizes a focus on early literacy. The quality of education is high and enhanced by the limit of teacher to student ratio. The maximum class size is 20 children per class, and the general ratio is 1 instructor to 11 children. This ensures that the teacher can give individual and quality attention to all students in the class. Children are given various activities to do and sometimes given homework tasks, which also begins to teach children responsibility.
When it comes to choosing teachers, only the best qualified teachers are selected to teach the VPK program. All teachers must at least have a child development associate for the school-year program, or a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood or any related fields for the summer program. All international teachers are also screened by the government before appointment. You can rest assured that your children will be in good hands.
Enrolling your child in a VPK program will put them at a great advantage. In 2011-12, 79% of children who finished VPK were ready for kindergarten, compared to 55 % of children who were ready from the group of children who didn’t attend VPK programs. VPK programs stimulate the brain at an age appropriate level, and expose children to aspects of kindergarten. Their social development is faster because of the exposure to the classroom and peer environment. By the time they reach kindergarten, many have already developed good social and interactive skills, which aids their learning. Furthermore, the focus on literacy speeds up literacy learning when the child does reach kindergarten. It is also an opportunity to pick up early on whether or not your child may have a learning problem.
Find a Free VPK Provider
One way to begin looking for a free VPK provider is to contact your local Early Learning Coalition (ELC) office or visit the office of early learning to view free VPK providers and their readiness rates. Alternatively, you can simply contact Providence Children’s Academy today to enroll your child in an excellent VPK program in Florida.