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 Mon - Fri. The VPK certificate funds a portion of the program and families share the cost with a modest tuition. We do offer a VPK only program (for families that only want the free program) and several extended day VPK programs as well.
We know that learning involves messy, hands-on activities, 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. While we offer a "VPK-only" program that is completely free, we do recommend that families consider enrolling in our morning PreKindergarten program.
Our goal is to create rich learning experiences that motivate children to explore and learn every day.
Ms. Cindy (our owner and founder) 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!
Ms. Rebecca working with children in the art center.
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.
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 use as they begin to realize that printed letters stand for sounds. Symbolic representation helps children read, write, and solve math problems.
Participating 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?
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. When you find the school that is right for your child and your family, you will know it!
Here are a few questions that families often ask during their visits:
VPK Only (Free Class)
Schedule: 8:15 to 11:45 (Mon-Fri)
Includes circle time, breakfast, playground and learning centers
Schedule: 7:45 to 1 pm (Mon-Fri)
Includes arrival activities, circle time, breakfast, playground, learning centers, literacy circle, lunch, and extended playground time. This is our recommended half-day program.
Extended Day Schedule
Available from 7 am to 3 pm
Morning PreK, with early drop off, naptime, and afternoon snack.
Full Day PreK, Early Pick-up
Includes morning PreK, nap, snack and afternoon activities. Drop-off any time before 8:15 am and pick-up by 5 pm.
Full Day PreK, Late Pick-up
Includes morning PreK, nap, snack and afternoon activities. Drop-off between 7:45 and 8:15 am; pick-up by 6 pm.
"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
Priority for our VPK program is based on the following:
1. Currently enrolled children & siblings.
2. Former students & siblings.
3. New families
A limited number of VPK-only spaces are available, and priority is give to families that are registering in the full PreKindergarten morning program or those who are registering for an extended day program.
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.
If you live in Florida and have a child who is either 4 years old or 5 years old on 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.
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.
A lifetime of learning
begins with a child's