Preschool Programs

Polk County Public Schools’ preschool programs are designed to support all families as they take those important first steps in planning their child’s education. We offer multiple options tailored to your child’s needs.

Benefits of Preschool

Preschool will help your child to discover a love for learning and feel comfortable in a school environment. Your child will also learn to read for information and enjoyment, and solve math problems.

In addition, preschool allows students to develop their listening and speaking skills, get along with others, and learn to make good choices.

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What to Expect

Our preschool programs have low student-to-teacher ratios, and they are staffed by highly qualified instructors with appropriate degrees and state DOE/DCF certifications. Activities are directed by teachers, and consistent daily routines provide children with opportunities for exploration and learning.

Our instructors use research-based techniques to support students’ socialization and language growth. We promote good health and safety habits with consistent supervision, and we maintain high program standards.

Program Options

Florida First Start (Age 3 and younger)

The Florida First Start program is a home-school partnership designed to help prevent future failure in school. Parents receive support to become involved in their child’s education during the critical first three years of life, enhancing their child’s intellectual, physical, language, and social development.

Head Start (Ages 3-4)

Head Start programs promote school readiness and enhance students’ development through educational, health, nutritional, social and other services. A significant emphasis is placed on parental involvement.

Voluntary PreK (Age 4)

Voluntary pre-kindergarten, or VPK, is a free statewide program for children who will turn 4 years old by Sept. 1. VPK offers structured early learning to help prepare children for school by working on their fundamental academic and social skills. Enrollment is limited at public schools across Polk County.

Campus KidCare

Campus KidCare is a before/after school enrichment program offered through a partnership between Polk County Public Schools and local child care providers. The programs are housed at several elementary school sites and serve elementary-aged children.

Title I PreK

Title I voluntary pre-kindergarten is a federally funded program available at a limited number of schools. It is a full school day program for students zoned for Title I schools, available at no cost to parents.


Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Prekindergarten services are provided to children from 3-5 years of age who meet the criteria for any of the following disabilities as defined by the Florida Department of Education and in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA):  developmental delay, language impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder, deaf or hard of hearing, dual-sensory impairment, intellectual disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, traumatic brain injury, speech impairment, visual impairment.