What is VPK?
VPK stands for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program. If you live in Florida, and your child will turn 4 by Sept. 1, your child is eligible to participate in Florida’s FREE Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) education program. Enrollment is limited at Polk County Public Schools sites throughout the county.
Benefits of the VPK program:
- The most important growth and development in the brain happens by the age of 5. The structured learning provided in VPK fosters children’s ability to be attentive and to follow directions, skills that will be needed for later success in school and life.
- VPK prepares children to be ready for school. Children who participate in high-quality early childhood education programs develop better language skills, score higher on school-readiness tests, and have better social skills and fewer behavioral problems once they enter school. They are also better prepared for kindergarten, especially in the areas of pre-reading, pre-math and social skills.
- VPK promotes a love of learning in children.
Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Locations
Carlton Palmore Elementary
Chain of Lakes Elementary
Davenport School of the Arts
Dr. NE Roberts Elementary
Highland City Elementary
Highlands Groves Elementary
Jewett School of the Arts
Lake Alfred Elementary
Lena Vista Elementary
North Lakeland Elementary
Bruce Wagner Elementary
Rochelle School of the Arts
Scott Lake Elementary
Spessard Holland Elementary
For address information regarding each school, visit our School Listings page.
How to Enroll in a Public School VPK Program
Step 1: Obtain your VPK Certificate of Eligibility
By completing this form you are requesting determination of eligibility for VPK services. The VPK Certificate of Eligibility must be submitted with the Polk County Schools VPK application for placement within a public school program.
Step 2: Complete the Polk County Public Schools Preschool Programs application
Click here for Polk County Public Schools Preschool Programs application and program information and locations
Documents needed for:
VPK AM or PM (three hours per day): Depending on parental requests for VPK services, most schools will provide three hours of VPK in the morning and afternoon. Parental preference of service time will be considered, but not guaranteed. School locations are listed on the last page of the VPK application.
- VPK Certificate of Eligibility (signed and dated)
- Copy of child’s certified Birth Certificate (not hospital record)
- Copy Parent/Guardian picture ID
- Copy Proof of Residence (two documents) must include parent name and current street address
Additional documents needed for:
VPK full school day (fee for extended day): Depending upon parental requests for VPK services, some schools will provide a full school day of service for a fee of $12 per day for 180 days. The payment agreement is $216 per month for 10 months – prorated for days of service. To reserve your child’s full-day space, the first payment is required prior to acceptance into the program.
Step 3: Submit the application
Applications and documentation must be submitted to:
Polk County Schools Woodlake Center – Preschool Programs
3425 New Jersey Road
Lakeland, FL 33803
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4 pm
Step 4: If your child is selected for enrollment ...
You will receive a Polk County Schools Preschool Programs acceptance letter by mail or email. The letter of acceptance will provide you with the name of school, time of service and information on how to enroll your child at the school.
- VPK Certificate of Eligibility issued by the State of Florida Office of Early Learning cannot be taken to public school offices for enrollment purposes.
- The application cover page lists documents you will need to submit with the application which includes the VPK Certificate of Eligibility.
- Submission of an application does not guarantee acceptance into the program, a particular school or session.