Letter to the editor: VPK provides free, important jumpstart for children headed to kindergarten

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Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten is a free educational program with outstanding benefits designed to prepare children for kindergarten.

There are two available programs for 4- and 5-year-old children:

First, the School Year Program begins in August and lasts three hours a day, from Monday-through-Friday. Class time generally is in the morning, although each VPK provider sets their own class schedule.

Second, the Summer School Program begin as early as May 1 and last eight hours a day, from Monday-Friday. Class time is similar to that of a regular school day.

The free VPK Program is structured to focus and teach on each individual child’s educational needs and learning abilities, through regular classroom activities and observation of social interaction and play.

Children learn easier and faster through play and from social interaction with their peers. Children are assessed on the milestones they achieve, along with structured playtime that allows teachers to interact and facilitate new learning opportunities. This program gives every child a head in communication, but also in learning: letters, numbers, oral vocabulary, problem solving, motor skill development and positive thinking.

This program is family-friendly, in that it’s designed to include the parent(s) or guardians each day in the progress of their child. Families are also given opportunities to meet with VPK staff regarding the educational, and behavioral progress of their child on their path of preparing for kindergarten. Parents are provided free information and other tools to utilize while working with the child at home.

Children who are 4 on or before Sept. 1 can be enrolled for the current schoolyear, or wait until the following year.

Register your child for free VPK at: www.ecs4kids.org, or for more information visit: www.floridaearlylearning.com.

Brenda Card, co-owner of Arora’s Clubhouse, has had 18 years of continuous childcare experience, serving 15 of those years as a director of childcare.

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