The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County

Overview of VPK

The Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program (VPK) is a free educational program that prepares children for kindergarten. Children must be 4 years of age and be Florida residents to participate. Children may participate in either a school year program consisting of 540 total instructional hours, or a summer program consisting of 300 total instructional hours.

VPK is offered at child care facilities that are contracted with the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County. They contain the following requirements as specified in Rule and Law: a license or accreditation, a developmentally appropriate curriculum, manageable class sizes, and qualified instructors. VPK providers are found in public schools and licensed private child care centers and family homes.

VPK instruction is typically scheduled for 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. However, VPK providers are permitted the flexibility to structure their schedules as they find fit. Although all schedules consist of the same total instructional hours, the days and times may vary.

Parents and guardians have the authority to choose which facility their child will attend for VPK. You might consider the schedule, location, additional services, readiness rate, and curriculum before making this important decision. Please refer to the current list of Approved VPK Providers. If you want help choosing a suitable child care facility, contact our Child Care Resource & Referral Coordinator at 352-375-4110, Ext. 102 (or use the provider search in the Parent Portal).