Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) – Providers
As an early childhood teacher, you play a valuable role in educating young children. In fact, the work you do each day increases a child’s chances of succeeding in school and in life. They are more likely to graduate from high school, finish college and earn more as adults. That is why we need your participation in Florida’s VPK program.
Licensed, private early childhood educators, directors and family child care homes are eligible if they are accredited by a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation, currently hold a Gold Seal Quality Care designation, or can demonstrate their ability to meet the VPK requirements. Public school districts must be approved by the state.
Standards used in VPK Education Programs
The Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year-Olds (2011) were formally adopted by the State Board of Education on October 18, 2011. These Standards, a collaboration between the Department of Education Office of Early Learning and the Agency for Workforce Innovation Office of Early Learning, create a common framework and language for providers of VPK Education Programs as well as School Readiness Programs serving four-year-olds.
Based on collaboration with a state panel of experts, national and state expert reviewers, and public input from citizens across the state, the Standards for Four-Year-Olds reflect the latest research on child development and developmentally appropriate practices for four-year-old children. All standards and benchmarks are organized in five domains:
- Physical Development
- Approaches to Learning
- Social and Emotional Development
- Language, Communication, and Emergent Literacy
- Cognitive Development and General Knowledge
Benchmarks are available in two domains: the domains of Language, Communication, and Emergent Literacy, and the Mathematical Thinking portion of Cognitive Development and General Knowledge, further explaining what Florida’s children should know and be able to do at the end of the prekindergarten experience.
To ensure all teachers of four-year-olds effectively utilize the Standards for Four-Year-Olds, training has been developed. This training is based on the most current early childhood research and is appropriate for all instructors and directors of programs serving four-year-olds. The training is titled Standards for Four-Year-Olds. Training is listed on the DCF website and registration must occur there.
Download a copy of The Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year-Olds (2011) and print them. The Standards are NOT distributed at the trainings.
Do You Want to Become A VPK Provider?
The VPK Provider Reference Guide gives needed information for being a VPK provider.
Provider Application Process
If you are interested in being a VPK Provider in Southwest Florida, please contact Bernadette Russello at the Early Learning Coalition of SWFL (239) 935-6151 or contact one of the Early Childhood Specialists:
- Kristi Biffar: (239) 935-6177
- Julie Nelson: (239) 935-6171
- Cheryl Carpenter: (239) 935-6178
- Bronwyn Gogia: (239) 935-6193
- Janelle Almonte: (239) 935-6183
- Rebecca McKellar: (239) 935-6133