FAQ for School Year 2019-2020
1. Is my child eligible to attend the school year VPK Program in August?
Any child who reaches the age of 4 on or before September 1 and lives in the State of Florida is eligible for VPK. NOTE: A new law took effect on July 1, 2016 extending VPK eligibility for 4 year-olds with birthdays from February 2 through September 1 in a calendar year. Parents can enroll their child in the state’s free, voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) education program that year or wait until the following year when their child is 5. If a parent opts to delay VPK to the next year, they understand that their child will not attend the 2019-2020 school year. Their child will attend VPK in 2020-2021. Students are only eligible to participate in one program year of VPK. Please read the VPK Extension Eligibility FAQ provided by the Office of Early Learning. Once your child has started the VPK program, you are no longer eligible to delay your child’s enrollment to the following year.
2. How do I apply for VPK at a Lake County Public School?
Lake County Public Schools VPK registration will take place on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. You will need to bring a completed Lake County VPK Application & Student Residency Form/Family Questionnaire to the school. Applications and questionnaires will not be taken prior to March 27 (please contact your zone school for registration times). Check the “Participating School List” (located on the Registration Process tab) provided on this website for available sites. It is highly recommended that you live within the school zone to which you apply.
3. Do I need to complete a school choice application for VPK if I am out of zone?
No, it is up to each school’s administrator if they will accept a student out of zone. School choice does not apply to the VPK program, only grades K-12.
4. Where can I obtain a Lake County Schools VPK Application & Student Residency Form/Family Questionnaire?
The applications and questionnaires can be found on our lake.k12.fl.us website. You must print out the application & questionnaire and complete by hand. These forms are not available to be completed on-line at this time.
5. How do I get a certificate?
The Certificates of Eligibility are issued on-line through the Office of Early Learning. Should you need assistance or do not have access to a computer and scanner, please go to the Early Learning Coalition of Lake County’s office at 1300 Citizens Blvd., Leesburg (352-435-0566), Monday - Thursday (8:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.). If you do not need assistance, please visit the Florida Office of Early Learning’s on-line registration system.
You must have a valid email address (Yahoo and Gmail offer free email accounts). Additionally, you must take your child’s original birth certificate (or a certified copy) and proof of residency for the certificate to be issued. It is also required that the parent or guardian be present. You may not send someone else as a representative.
6. What do I do with the certificate?
The Certificate of Eligibility must be turned in to the school where your child will attend VPK. We will not be accepting the Certificates of Eligibility until after you have been notified of placement.*
All certificates (this includes First and Second Semesters) must be obtained and turned in to the school site by April 26* in order to maintain their place on the class list. Students on the class list without certificates by this deadline may lose that position and will be replaced by another student.
7. Is there a cost for VPK?
No, the Lake County Public Schools Voluntary Prekindergarten program is completely free of charge but you must provide the Certificate of Eligibility to the school by the designated deadline.
8. What happens if the program is full and my child can’t attend?
Each class may have no more than 20 children and the ½ Day Program has no more than 10. Each school will maintain a wait list and will notify parents of vacant spaces when they occur in the order of the wait list. This will be maintained the entire school year. Additionally, if your child doesn’t use more than 53 hours, they will be eligible to participate in Summer VPK (see #14).
9. What are the hours and calendar of VPK?
The Voluntary Prekindergarten Program follows the Lake County Public Schools calendar as well as the school’s regular operating hours. The ½ Day Program at Rimes Early Learning Center takes place in the morning and ends by 11:30a.m.
10. Do I need to register with the school?
Yes. All VPK children must register in order to attend class. Children may not attend prior to providing all required documentation (this includes the Lake County VPK Application).
11. What documentation do I need to register with the school?
The school will only enroll your child if the Certificate of Eligibility has been received by the April 26* deadline.
Original Birth Certificate or a Certified Copy
Proof of Residency
Social Security Number (optional)
12. What if my child lives in a school zone that does not provide VPK?
Children may attend Rimes Early Learning and Literacy Center without school zone requirements.
13. What about extended day?
Before and/or after school care is not available for VPK students.
14. What if my child can’t be served during the school year?
If there are children who cannot be served during the regular school year, a VPK program will be provided during the summer prior to their Kindergarten year, if the parent so requests. The locations for summer VPK are determined in late spring of that school year. A student may NOT use more than 53 hours of their voucher during the regular school year in order to be eligible to participate in the summer program. Classes are based on enrollment. If there are not enough students for one location, students will have the opportunity to attend at another site.
15. What is the Semester Program?
The State provides funding for the 540 hours for the school year program. The Semester Program provides the 540 hour program for the entire school day for one semester (90 days). Your child will be assigned to the first semester OR second semester program. A student assigned to a second semester class may not use ANY portion of his/her VPK hours with another provider during the fall semester. Should that occur, the space will be filled with another student. Parents (both semesters) are encouraged to extend the learning experience of their children by communicating with the assigned VPK teacher and resources provided throughout the year.
2019-2020 Semester Dates:
First Semester: August 12 – January 10
Second Semester: January 13 – May 29
16. What is the ½ Day Program?
The State provides funding for 540 hours for the school year program. The ½ Day Program provides the 540 hour program for 3 hours per day for the 180 school days. This is ½ day only for the entire school year. Currently this program is only available at Rimes Early Learning Center in Leesburg.
17. What is the Title I Program?
This is a combination of VPK State funds and Federal Title I funds being used to provide a full day, full year program to students who qualify for the program. To qualify for this program, you must apply and submit documentation listed on Part 2 of Application. Additionally, your child will participate in an on-site screening process as a part of the eligibility determination. If your child is not screened at registration on March 27, you will need to contact the school to set up an appointment. They do not have the personnel to take walk-ins for the screening after this date. Students will be selected and notified of placement by Friday, April 6 provided the screening has taken place in a timely manner. If not, the school will move to the next child on the list. This service is available to Title I schools only. These schools are listed in the VPK Registration Process section of this website.
Transportation is not provided for VPK Students. Parents are responsible for ensuring their children arrive safely and in a timely manner per the VPK program requirements. If needed, please review the Transportation Department’s information regarding fee-based transportation.
19. Before/After School Care
Currently, VPK Students are not eligible for the before and/or after school care program.
*If you register your student any time after April 22 you will have one week to submit your VPK Application and voucher to the school. If you are having issues with the on-line voucher application process, please contact your school’s VPK point person as they will be able to tell you where you can go for assistance if you do not live near the Early Learning Coalition of Lake County’s office. The VPK Application is also a required registration document that needs to be submitted to the school. This document is not able to be completed on-line at this time. You will need to print the form, complete it and submit to the school. Your child will not be able to start without these forms.*