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 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.    

Our VPK Teachers

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.

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 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

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.


Our Program

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.   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:

Do you participate in VPK?  
Yes, we do participate in VPK!  This program provides funding for children to attend preschool the year before they go to Kindergarten, allowing more families to participate in high quality preschool programs.

What are the qualifications and experience of your PreK teachers?  
Our teachers have earned CDAs (Child Development Assosiates), and many are either enrolled in or have earned an AA in Early Childhood.  We also have extensive on-site curriculum training for our teachers, and we attend early childhood conferences together several times a year.  When teachers are always learning, children are always learning, too!

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.  Our school uses Beyond Centers and Circle Time, which is a research based early childhood curriculum that focuses on play-based experiences that are engaging and motivating.  Our social-emotional curriculum is Conscious Discipline, which enables our teachers to help children development critical self-regulation skills that will help them be successful in kindergarten and throughout life.  You won't see worksheets come home from our classrooms ... our kids are too busy learning to spend time on worksheets!

How do you keep parents informed of what is happening in the class?
At First Discoveries, parents are valued partners in their child's education.  Our families are welcome to visit our classrooms at any time, and we offer many opportunities to volunteer.  We also communicate daily through conversations at drop off and pick up as well as through our parent communication app.  Our families always tell us that they love the photos they receive of their children because it helps them be more connected to their child's day!

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.  We offer a variety of enrichment programs that change based on children's interests.  Talk to our Director or VPK Teachers to learn more about the enrichment experiences that we are currently offering.

Program Options
2019-2020 School Year

VPK Only (Free Class)

Schedule: 8:15 to 11:45 (Mon-Fri)

Includes circle time, breakfast, playground and learning centers

Morning PreKindergarten

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

Registering for VPK

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.

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 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.   

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.

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.

A lifetime of learning
 begins with a child's
First Discoveries!