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 age four by September 1st of the school year are eligible to participate in a VPK program.


VPK Choice

  • 2023-2024 VPK Choice is February 6-17, 2023.
    During a specific period each year, families have an opportunity to select the VPK school site and program that will best meet their student's needs.

    Do you have a VPK Certificate of Eligibility for the 2023-2024 school year?
    To participate in VPK, you must have a current VPK Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County. To obtain a certificate, please visit https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com or call (941) 757-2900.

    Gather Documents.
    Gather and scan the documents on the VPK Registration Checklist. If your application is approved, these documents MUST be submitted prior to the student attending the VPK program.

    During February 6-17, submit VPK Choice Application via FOCUS.
    VPK Choice Application will not be available in FOCUS until February 6-17, 2023.

    Make sure you select "VPK Registration".  "Online Registration" is for K-12 students.

    VPK Choice applications must be completed/signed by the ENROLLING parent/guardian via their FOCUS account. The student must be added to FOCUS and linked/enabled to the ENROLLING parent's FOCUS account before the VPK Choice Application can be accessed during the enrollment window.

    If you do not have a FOCUS account, visit the FOCUS page.
    Please do NOT create a new Focus account before February 6, 2023.

    Completing a VPK Choice Application DOES NOT guarantee assignment to a choice school.
    Placement decisions will be based upon school zone 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. 
    Applicants that are not accepted due to space limitations may be placed on a wait-list. If your email changes, or you do not receive your application results, please call (941) 753-0958 x38200.


VPK Program Details

  • 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. All VPK programs follow the school district calendar.

    VPK AM
    Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) is offered as a FREE 3-hour (8:30am-11:30am) morning program.
    Verification of current address is required to complete enrollment.

    VPK Plus Full-Day Program
    Fees for extended VPK Plus Full-Day Program (8:30am - 3:20pm) are determined by the student's ZONED school.
    To determine a student's zoned school, visit https://www.manateeschools.net/schoollocator and search for the enrolling parent/guardian’s home address.

    VPK Plus (Title 1)
    The VPK Plus (Title 1) program is FREE if the student is zoned to an eligible Title 1 school (Abel, Ballard, Bayshore Elementary, Blackburn, Daughtrey, Manatee Elementary, Moody, Oneco, Palmetto Elementary, Palm View, Prine, Rogers Garden, Samoset, Sea Breeze or Tillman) -AND- attends at a participating Title 1 location.

    VPK Plus
    If a student is NOT zoned to a Title 1 school, the VPK Plus program requires a one-time $30 non-refundable registration fee, and a monthly fee of $275.

    Participating Locations
    VPK school sites are subject to change based on specific school enrollment and unit allocations.
    Only these locations are currently offering a VPK program: Abel, Ballard, Bashaw, Bayshore Elementary, Blackburn, Braden River Elementary, Daughtrey, Freedom, Johnson, Kinnan, Lakewood Ranch High School, McNeal, Miller, Mills, Myakka, Manatee Elementary, Palma Sola, Palmetto Elementary, Prine, Samoset, Sea Breeze, Stewart, Tara, Williams, Willis and Witt.

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

    Parents must obtain a VPK Certificate of Eligibility (COE) issued by the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County to participate.

    VPK students must be potty-trained.

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

VPK Registration