Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK)

  • The Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program is funded by the Office of Early Learning at the Florida Department of Education. All children who reside in Florida, turning four by September 1st of the school year are eligible to participate in a VPK program. 

    The School District of Manatee County (SDMC) offers VPK to families as either a 540-instructional hour school year program or a 300-instructional hour summer program. Families may select either the school year or the summer, but not both. To participate in the free 3 hours of VPK instruction, parents must obtain a VPK Certificate of Eligibility (COE).

    Do you have a VPK Certificate of Eligibility for the school year 2022-2023?
    Before you can participate in VPK, you must have a VPK Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County. 
    To obtain a certificate, please visit https://www.elc-manatee.org or call (941) 757-2900.


VPK Program Details

  • Children who are 4 years of age by September 1 qualify for VPK for the 2022-2023 school year.

    Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) is offered as a FREE 3-hour (8:30am-11:30am) program. 

    Title 1 Schools
    If a student’s zoned school is Title 1 and the student attends a full-day (8:30-3:20 PM). The following Title 1 schools offer a VPK program: Abel, Ballard, Bayshore Elementary, Blackburn, Daughtrey, Manatee Elementary, Moody, Palmetto Elementary, Prine, Samoset, Sea Breeze and Tillman. VPK program at a Title 1 school, the full-day program is free of charge. Please call the VPK office to verify space availability  

    Non-Title 1 Schools
    A full-day VPK program (8:30am-3:20pm) at a Non-Title 1 school requires a $30 non-refundable registration fee, with a monthly fee of $275.

    Verification of current address is required to complete enrollment.

    Transportation is not provided for VPK students. Families are responsible for transporting the VPK student to and from school.

    VPK students must be potty-trained.

    All VPK programs follow the school district calendar.


VPK Choice

  • VPK Choice 2022-2023 is currently closed. The 2023-2024 dates are to be determined.

    During a specific period each year, families may choose a VPK program at their zoned school, or from their Elementary Cluster. To locate the student’s zoned school and Elementary Cluster, visit https://www.manateeschools.net/schoollocator and search for the enrolling parent/guardian’s home address.

    Completing a VPK Choice Application DOES NOT guarantee assignment to a choice school.
    Placement decisions will be based upon school zone, school clusters and considerations listed in the application. VPK school sites are subject to change based on specific school enrollment and unit allocations.

    Applicants should receive an email with the results during March 2023. 
    If your email changes, or you do not receive your application results, please call the Early Learning at (941) 753-0958 x38200.

VPK Registration