VPK at First Discoveries
Since opening in 2008, First Discoveries has offered the Voluntary Prekindergten program (VPK). We understand the important of preparing children to be successful in kindergarten, and we know that parents appreciate the tuition assistance this program provides.
Our morning PreKindergarten program is five hours, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. The VPK certificate funds a portion of the program and families share the cost with a modest tuition. The VPK only program is from 7:45 to 12:00 for families that only want the free program.
We know that learning involves messy, hands-on activiites, and that children need enough time to be engaged in meaningful activities. Having enough time to explore is important to developing vocabulary and concepts, which will help all children be successful in kindergarten and throughout school.
Our VPK Teachers
Ms. Cindy has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education and has taught preschool, VPK, kindergarten and first grade. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and also holds a teaching certificate for the State of Florida. As the owner and founder of First Discoveries, she is committed to hiring and training experienced, caring teachers who understand the critical role early childhood plays in a child's development. Our teachers have a rich background of experience and training, allowing them to plan and implement a child-centered curriculum that meets the needs of all children!
We know that caring, dedicated teachers are the most important resource of any school. Our VPK staff is dedicated to children and enthusiastic about learning.
Meaningful Learning = Engaged Children
Water color painting by a VPK student
Did you know that painting and drawing are important early literacy skills? Making representational art, such as this water color painting with the sun and flowers, involves "symbolic representation" -- the same cognitive skill children will use as they begin to realize that printed letters stand for sounds. Symbolic representation helps children read, write, and solve math problems.
VPK at First Discoveries:
Affordable Tuition ... Exceptional Quality
Affordable Tuition ... Exceptional Quality
Participaing in VPK allows us to provide a high-quality learning program for four year olds. Parents and children benefit from an exceptional quality program that is affordable for all families. We are proud to offer a variety of schedules and programs to meet the needs of all families.
When choosing a VPK program for your child, you have many choices at both private and public schools. So, why choose First Discoveries?
- Teachers with degrees and national certifications mean that your child will benefit from richer learning experiences.
- Hands-on learning means your child will love school and be an eager learner.
- Nutritious meals and snacks will nurture your child's body, and help your child develop healthy eating habits.
- Individual child assessments ensures that your child receives an excellent education and is prepared for success in kindergarten and throughout school.
How to Choose a PreKindergarten Program
We understand that choosing a school for your child is a very important decision. Research confirms what parents have always known: a high quality preschool program provides a critical foundation for children's learning, growth and development.
When choosing a preschool program, talk to friends and families to ask for recommendations. Visit several schools,observe the classrooms, and meet the teachers.
Here are a few questions you can ask during your visits:
- Do you participate in VPK?
If not, parent's tuition costs will be considerably higher.
- What are the qualifications and experience of your PreK teachers?
The state requires VPK teachers to have a minimum of a CDA, but national standards recommend that PreK teachers have a degree in Early Childhood and/or Elementary Education.
- What curriculum do you use? How do you assess children's learning?
Young children learn best when they have many opportunities for hands-on learning. Math, science and literacy are learned as children experience them in meaningful ways. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, worksheets are not effective early learning experiences!
- How do you keep parents informed of what is happening in the class?
Parents should be valued partners in their child's education. Be sure to pick a school where you are informed about the classroom through newsletters, calendars, daily conversations and parent conferences. Parents should also be welcome to visit the classroom and there should be many opportunities to volunteer in meaningful ways.
- Do you offer enrichment programs?
Preschool children are like sponges ... learning and growing every minute! Enrichment programs, such as Spanish lessons, sports programs, dance lessons and special programs, are a great way to enhance children's development and keep them motivated about learning.
2016-2017 School Year
2016-2017 School Year
Includes family style breakfast and lunch and all VPK learning activities.
Schedule: 7:45 to 1:00 (Mon-Fri)
VPK Only .................................FREE
Schedule: 8:15 to 12:00 (Mon-Fri)
PreK with Rest Time .............$250/mo
Schedule: 7:45 to 2:30 (Mon-Fri)
Extended Day Program ...............$475
Open from 7 am to 6 pm, includes VPK
Afternoon Drop In ........................$20
Space Available Basis
Semi-Annual Supply & Registration Fee $100 (due twice per year)
Waived for VPK only program
"It is becoming increasingly clear through research on the brain, as well as in other areas of study, that childhood needs play. Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood."
-- Tina Bruce
What is VPK?
VPK is Voluntary PreKindergarten, the program which Florida voters approved in 2002 to ensure that all children enter kindergarten with the skills they need to be successful learners.
VPK prepares children for success in Kindergarten and throughout school by enhancing their emergent reading, math, language and social skills. Because of these essential early learning skills, children are more likely to be successful throughout their schooling. VPK classrooms offer high-quality programs that include high literacy standards, developmentally appropriate curriculum, small class sizes, and qualified teachers.
Who can participate in VPK?
If you live in Florida and have a child who turns 4 years old by September 1st, your child is eligible for Florida's VPK program. There are no income requirements; all four year olds are eligible. Children can participate in either a school year program or a summer vpk program.
My child turns four after September 1st. Can my child participate?
VPK funds a preschool program the year before a child enters kindergarten, so if your child turns four after September 1st, he/she isn't eligible for the VPK certificate until the following school year.
We do offer a private pay PreKindergarten program for children whose birthdays are after the September 1st cut-off.
Creating patterns is fun!
Learning & Growing Every Day!
- Our classrooms feature large open spaces that allow children to make choices about their own learning. Lots of windows provide natural light to enhance the learning environment. Classrooms centers include hands-on activities in math, science, literacy and art.
- We incorporate Spanish lessons and sign language into our daily routines. Children not only learn to speak simple Spanish phrases and sign simply songs; they also gain a lifetime appreciation for diversity.