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 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.
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.
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.
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.
How Do I Apply?
All VPK applications must be approved by the Department of Early Learning. Applying does not guarantee a seat. Availability is limited due to school capacity. For space availability or waitlist options, please call (941) 753-0958 x38200.
Do you have a VPK Certificate of Eligibility for the current 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 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.
VPK school sites are subject to change based on specific school enrollment and unit allocations.
Only these locations are currently offering a VPK program:
Blackburn, Braden River Elementary
Lakewood Ranch High School