Voluntary Prekindergarten is an amazing opportunity to help ensure your child is ready with the necessary skills he or she will need to be successful in kindergarten. What's even better is that VPK participation is FREE through the Early Learning Coalition and Florida's Office of Early Learning. If you are wondering how to sign up for those free VPK vouchers from ELC, we're here to help! It's quick and easy. So let's get started!
TIP: The Florida Early Learning website recommends using either Internet Explorer 10 or above or Google Chrome browsers for the application process. We used Safari and experienced occasional glitches. Once we switched to Firefox, the application worked fine. Bottom Line: Apple users may want to avoid using Safari and opt for their 2nd-choice internet browser instead.
STEP 1: Register for Your Account on Florida's Early Learning Portal.
*If you already have an account, then log in and skip to step 2.
Follow this link: https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/Login
Then find "If you are a new user Click Here to register for an account" (near the top of your screen) and follow the link.
On the next page, fill in and confirm your email address and create a password for your new account. Then click "Register My Account."
Next, check your email for the activation link. In the email, click on "Activate My Account."
The next page tells you that your account has been activated. Simply click "Continue."
You now have your account, and you're ready to apply for your VPK vouchers!
STEP 2: Pre-Qualify Your Child for VPK.
On the next page, select "Create a New VPK Application."
Then, enter your child's birthday as dd/mm/yyyy. For example: 01/01/2011
A pop-up will appear with your qualification status telling you which VPK school year to select. Click "Select" and then "Close."
STEP 3: Fill In the Parent Information Portion of the Application.
Read the information on the first screen, including the Parent Handbook and Parent Guide.
PLEASE NOTE: To qualify for services, you will prove your eligibility by uploading: 1) Proof of Florida residence, 2) Proof of your child's age, and
3) An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) ***#3 applies ONLY if you are requesting Specialized Instruction Services.***
Fill in the parent information and click "Next Step."
STEP 4: Fill In the Child Information Portion of the Application.
Fill in the child information requested and click "Next Step."
STEP 5: Fill In the Household Information Portion of the Application.
Fill in the household information requested and click "Next Step."
STEP 6: Fill In the Program Information Portion of the Application.
Fill in the program information requested and click "Next Step."
STEP 7: Upload Your Documents
In step 3, we mentioned that you would need to upload 2 - 3 documents as part of your application. That happens in this step. A list of qualifying documents is provided for you inside the application.
Upload 1 document to show proof of residence. (Simply click "Upload Document" and select the appropriate file from you computer.)
Do the same to upload 1 document proving your child's date of birth.
When done, click "Next Step" at the bottom of the screen.
STEP 7: Review Your Application
Simply review your application for accuracy. Each section gives the option to edit the information if necessary.
Once everything is complete and correct, click "Next Step" at the bottom right of the screen.
STEP 8: Certify and Submit Your VPK Voucher Application.
Read the terms you are certifying. Once done, certify your application by
1) Entering your full name in the appropriate box, 2) Checking the box to certify that your name counts as your electronic signature, and 3) Entering the application date. (In most cases, the date will be pre-filled for you.)
Once ready, hit the green "Submit Application" button.
*You're done with the application portion of this process!*
So what's next?
STEP 9: Watch Your Email and Print Your Certificate.
Watch your email for correspondence and further instructions from your county's Early Learning Coalition (ELC). (It took about 24 hours for us to receive the certification email, but response times may vary depending on the number of applications being processed.)
Once you have received your certificate of eligibility, you can log in and print your VPK certificate to take to your VPK program provider.
We hope this has helped. Please feel free to share with others who have not yet applied for their VPK vouchers!