The State of Florida was one of the first states to offer free Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs (VPK), regardless of family income. Children who reside in Florida, and turn four on or before 1 September, are eligible to enroll.
Since the introduction of the VPK program in 2005/6, over 2.5 million children have benefited. Data collected from the Department of Education has proven that children who go through the VPK program, in both public and private institutions are more ready for kindergarten than children who do not.
The Benefits Of A VPK Program
The Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Education Program (VPK) helps to foster a lifelong enthusiasm for school and learning from as early as four years old. This program is available as a full-year program (540 instruction hours) or a summer program (300 instruction hours). There are many benefits to enrolling your child in a VPK program, including:
- Development of social and emotional skills
- Enhancing language skills
- Making learning fun
- Teaching them classroom skills
- Improving chances of passing the school readiness test
- Teaching children independence
- Learning about teamwork
Development Of Social And Emotional Skills
Spending time with peers of the same age helps the child form friendships and make emotional connections outside the home. With the children being from various backgrounds and different cultures, they learn life skills, including tolerance and acceptance, as well as conflict resolution, in a safe and structured environment.
Enhancing Language Skills
A large part of the VPK program involves literature and writing. Using interactive techniques, children are encouraged to explore and expand their vocabulary. The love for reading is also emphasized, which has proven to increase reading levels throughout their education.
Making Learning Fun
VPK programs focus on making learning fun. The positive attitude children develop towards learning in these programs will benefit them throughout their education. Learning the value of achieving goals without the pressure of formal education is a life skill they carry with them throughout their schooling years and beyond.
Teaching Them Classroom Skills
In a VPK program, children receive a grounding in various classroom skills. They learn to obey instructions, pack away belongings, the importance of sharing, and general classroom etiquette. Learning these skills at a young age enhances their general social skills and has been shown to decrease the risk of future behavior issues.
Improves Chances Of Passing The School Readiness Test
The Florida Division Of Early Learning has found that 79% of learners who attend a VPK program have the necessary skills for academic success. Due to a head start in learning and social interaction, VPK students easily pass the school readiness test.
Teaching Children Independence
The safe and structured classroom environment assists even the shyest child make decisions and interact independently with peers and other adults.
Learning About Teamwork
Teamwork is a large part of the VPK program. Children are taught to interact as a team in various scenarios, whether in the classroom or on the playground. Some skills that are learned include:
- Social interaction
- Leadership skills
- Following leader instructions, especially if it is a peer.
- Expression of opinion
- How to win and lose graciously.
How To Enroll In A VPK Program
A child can only enroll in a VPK program if they are registered. Children are only eligible for a VPK voucher if they turn four before or on 1 September. To obtain a VPK voucher and be eligible to enroll a child in the program, parents must first:
- Register the child with the Early Learning Coalition
- Receive a Certificate Of Eligibility
Only then can a child enroll with the VPK provider of choice.
Providence Children’s Academy Offers A VPK Program In Coconut Creek
At Providence Children’s Academy, we believe that socialization and age-appropriate activities ensure children grow to their fullest potential. We are a registered VPK provider, and our program is designed to help the brain develop and grow in a stimulating and nurturing setting.
To visit our facility or learn more about our VPK program, call us at 954-570-6914 Monday to Friday 6.30 am to 6.30 pm.