Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) - Families

kids with teacher

Welcome to ELC Broward’s VPK program page 

We are happy to help you understand the registration process and complete your application with minimum worry. Here we answer the most commonly asked questions related to your child’s start in the early learning community. Have a question we didn’t answer? Don’t hesitate to call us at 954-377-2188. We are eager to help!

The VPK program is FREE to families and has no income requirements or restrictions. 

VPK is designed to prepare your child for kindergarten and develop the skills they need to become strong readers and successful students. Florida VPK quality standards ensure the program meets expectation for literacy skills-building, accountability, learning materials, manageable class sizes and qualified instructors.

Parents have the option of enrolling children in one of the following VPK programs:

  • School-year Program: 540 instructional hours and a class size of 20 or fewer students. At a minimum, instructors must hold a Birth through Five Florida Child Care Professional Credential and complete special training on early literacy and performance standards.
  • Summer Program: 300 hours of instruction and a class size of 12 or less. Instructors must hold a bachelor's degree. 
  • Specialized Instructional Services program (SIS): hours vary based on services provided. SIS is for children with special needs who have current individual educational plans (IEP) developed with Broward County Schools. Learn more about VPK SIS.

VPK Child Care Provider Listing:

Looking for a certified child care provider in your area? View our VPK Child Care Provider Listing. This list is updated on a weekly basis.

Search for VPK providers in Broward County and view their profile:

To search for VPK providers in Broward County and view their profile, click here.

This link will take you to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Provider Search and Profile. To locate a provider, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Enter a Zip Code, City or County to produce a list of childcare providers in that area –OR– Enter an Address, Provider Name or License # to select a specific child care provider

Step 2: Providers offering VPK will have the VPK logo listed to the right under the “Programs” heading

Step 3: For detailed information, click on the childcare provider name, then click the tabs: “About Provider”, “VPK”, or Services

Search for VPK Readiness Rates on the Office of Early Learning’s Readiness Rate Website:

To search for VPK Readiness Rates, click here to access the Office of Early Learning’s Readiness Rate website. To locate a provider, please follow these steps:
Step 1: To conduct a “Standard” search, to the right of the screen, enter the Provider Name. 
Step 2: To conduct an advanced search, select “Advanced”. This will allow you to search for a provider by city and/or zip code
Step 3: To view the detailed report of the VPK provider’s readiness rate, click “View Report” 

You may also obtain a customized VPK Provider Listing from one of our certified Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Specialists.  To do so please call 954-377-2188 and request CCR&R services.

VPK Flexible School Year Options for Families:

The Office of Early Learning has announced the availability of flexible school year options (Virtual VPK) for providing VPK instruction through December 2020 for the 2020-21 School Year Program. This is an added feature to in-person VPK instruction, but not a replacement, and may not exceed a total of 220 hours of the required 540-hour program.

If you are interested in this flexible option, please contact your child care center or public school and confirm if they are offering a flexible VPK school year option or click the link below for a listing of child care providers offering flexible VPK.

List of child care providers offering Flexible VPK (Updated 11/6/2020)

To be eligible for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program or VPK Specialized Instructional Services (SIS) program, your child must reside in Florida and reach the age of 4 on or before September 1 of the program year or the following program year. Your child remains eligible until kindergarten admittance, or unless they reach the age of 6 years by February 1 of any program year.

VPK Registration is currently open; registration began January 1, 2020 for the 2020-21 school year. 

To register your child for VPK, simply visit the Florida Office of Early Learning (OEL) Family Portal to create an account and complete an application.

  • New users: Register for an account. 
  • Returning users: Enter your username and password. Complete the application and upload documents. 
  1. You will need a valid Email address to use as your Username. If you do not have one, please set up a free Gmail account at google.com/gmail.
  2. You will need these required documents:
  • Proof of child’s age on a birth certificate OR current immunization record
  • Proof of residence stated on a Florida Driver License OR current utility bill OR a current signed lease (the address MUST match the application)​
     

Once you submit your application, you will receive an Email verifying your application status within 24 to 48 hours during peak season (January through March), and within 20 days during non-peak season (April through December). 

For a printable version of the information on this page, download our VPK Registration Flyer: VPK 2020-2021 Registration Flyer

There are a few points of information to consider: 

  1. If the child has not attended the VPK program yet and their date of birth falls between February 2nd and September 1st, they qualify for a VPK Postponement. 
  2. If the child has attended the VPK program, then a VPK Re-enrollment must be submitted along with required documentation to determine if the child is eligible to be re-enrolled in the subsequent program year. 
  3. A child may only re-enroll in a subsequent program year if:
  • The child attains the age of 4 years old between February 2 and September 1 of his or her initial program year of eligibility; and,
  • The child has not yet been admitted to kindergarten; and
  • The child is granted a re-enrollment
     

No, you may use your child's VPK certificate for EITHER the school year or the summer, but not for both. 

When applying for a School District VPK Program OR a private early learning center, a parent must first apply for the VPK Certificate of Eligibility through the Florida Office of Early Learning (OEL) Family Portal.

Once the certificate is obtained, the parent may choose to enroll their child at a School District VPK program or a private early learning center. 

  1. To apply for a private early learning center, parents simply brings their VPK Certificate to an approved VPK provider. 
  2. To apply for a School District VPK program, parents must apply online through the Head Start/Early Intervention Department website.