FAQ for School Year 2023-2024
1. Is my child eligible to attend the VPK Program during the 23-24 school year?
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 2023-2024 school year. Their child will attend VPK in 2024-2025. Students are only eligible to participate in one program year of VPK. Please call Danielle Jarrett, PreK Resource Teacher or Alicia Calvillo, VPK Fiscal Assistant, or email the VPK department at firstname.lastname@example.org. should you have any questions on your student's eligibility to delay VPK to the 2023-2024 school year. 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 on-line registration will begin on Monday, March 20 at 9am. Applications will not be accepted in person, they must be completed using the on-line tool. Check the “Participating School List” 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?
The registration process is on-line and can be found by visiting the registration tab.
5. How do I get a Certificate of Eligibility (i.e. the voucher)?
The Certificates of Eligibility are issued on-line through the Office of Early Learning. They are currently available for the 2023-2024 school year. Please make sure you select the correct program year when applying for your student's certificate. 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 in-person assistance, please visit the Florida Office of Early Learning’s on-line registration system. Please see the Certificate of Eligibility application process flow chart should you need step-by-step instructions.
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 once I get approved?
We do not accept the Certificates of Eligibility until you have been notified of placement.
Upon placement notification, you will turn in the signed certificate of eligibility to the school by Friday, May 26. Failure to do so could result in your student losing their slot and being replaced by a student on the wait list.
This deadline applies to ALL VPK Programs to include Second Semester regardless of the January start date.
7. Is there a cost for VPK?
Most of the Voluntary Prekindergarten programs we offer through Lake County Public Schools are completely free of charge but you must provide the Certificate of Eligibility to the school by the designated deadline. Unfortunately not all of those programs are full year and without certain eligibility requirements. However, beginning in the 22-23 school year, we are offering fee-based programs at certain schools in order to provide a full year opportunity for those students that would normally attend either the first or second semester. Please visit the “Participating School List” to find out more about this program.
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 Blended Program has no more than 10. Each school will maintain a waiting 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.
10. Do I need to enroll at the school?
Yes. Once a family has been notified of placement they must officially enroll their student at the school in order to attend class. Children may not attend prior to providing all required enrollment documentation (this includes the Lake County VPK Application and Certificate of Eligibility).
11. What documentation do I need to enroll my student with the school? For more detailed information, please visit the LCS REQUIRED ENROLLMENT DOCUMENTATION form
Original Birth Certificate or a Certified Copy
Parent/Legal Guardian Photo ID or Voter Registration Card
Proof of Residency - any TWO of the following:
|1. Current Lease (additional documentation could be requested)|
|2. Bill of Sale or Deed for house with current physical address|
|3. Homestead Exemption receipt with current physical address|
|4. Utility deposit receipt with current physical address|
|5. Utility bill with current physical address|
Social Security Number (optional)
The school will only enroll your child if the Certificate of Eligibility has been received by the designated deadline.
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 Semester Program is fully funded by the state (540 hours). Our students go all day every day for one semester (90 days). Your child will be assigned to either the first semester program OR the second semester program but they cannot attend both. A student attending 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 are encouraged to extend the learning experience of their children by communicating with the assigned VPK teacher and resources provided throughout the year.
2023-2024 Semester Dates:
First Semester: (TBD)August 2023 – January 2024
Second Semester: (TBD)January 2024 - May 2024
16. What is the Blended Program?
A blended class consists of 10 VPK students and 10 ESE PreK students. The 10 VPK slots are filled on a first come/first served basis. This program is full day/full year and will be hosted at Rimes Early Learning & Literacy Center only. They will have two programs.
17. What is the ESSER Program?
This program is 180 days. There is no eligibility criteria for this program apart from the age requirement. The first 3 hours of their day is funded by the state. The second 3 hours of their day is funded by ESSER. These programs will be offered at select schools only.
18. What is the Title I/Title IV Program?
This is a combination of State VPK funds and Federal Title I or Title IV funds being used to provide a full day, full year program to students who qualify.
The eligibility criteria for this program is as follows:
- Economic Eligibility - eligibility is based on the reduced income eligibility guidelines. These can be found on the VPK Economic Eligibility section of the on-line application.
- Student Screening - students will be asked 10 questions by designated school personnel. Student placement will be ranked according to academic needs.
19. What is the Fee-Based Program?
This program is a full-day/full-year program. The first half of the day is funded through the state and the second half of the day is funded by the parent(s)/legal guardian(s). The cost is $90(pending board approval)/ weekly via the MySchoolBucks program or via money order. Personal checks/cash/payroll deductions will not be accepted.
We will also have a BLENDED Fee-Based Program at Pine Ridge Elementary. The cost is the same but the class consists of 10 VPK Students and 10 ESE PreK Students.
**Please see the “Participating School List” to find out which schools are hosting the above programs for the 22-23 school year.**
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.