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Press Release

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Reminds Families to Participate in Voluntary PreKindergarten

- Enrollment increases 65 percent since 2006 -

Tallahassee, Fla., August 8, 2012 - The 2012-13 school year is underway and the Department of Education is encouraging parents to enroll their four-year-old children in the state's Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program. Florida's VPK program is a free educational program created to prepare every four-year-old in Florida for kindergarten and build a strong foundation for educational success. In 2011-12, Florida VPK Education programs served 81 percent of children across the state, and the program continues to grow each school year.

"Building a solid foundation for learning is the key to success for Florida's students," said Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. "Our state's VPK program helps children develop essential skills so that they can perform better and be successful in kindergarten and later in life. I encourage Florida's families to take this opportunity to enrich their child's education by starting early with VPK."

The VPK program is available at no cost to children who are four years old by September 1 of the program year. Florida's VPK program is provided in two formats - the 540 hour program, which is available during the school year (usually August through May), and the 300 hour program, which is available during the summer. Florida VPK is offered through public and private providers.

In Florida, each county (or area of counties) has an Early Learning Coalition that serves as a resource to help families locate early care and education programs that meet their needs. Parents may find more information about VPK providers through their local Early Learning Coalition.

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