Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK)

  • Florida's Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) was implemented with the goal of providing all of Florida's four-year-olds with access to free, quality prekindergarten programs.

    Program Description

    • All VPK instruction is standards-based and developmentally appropriate.
    • School-year VPK provides 540 hours of instruction, 3.5 hours per day for 180 days.
    • The Summer VPK program provides 300 hours of instruction, 10 hours per day for 30 days.
    • All classrooms are taught by certified elementary teachers.
    • Summer VPK classrooms are staffed with 2 certified teachers for 24 students.
    • School-year PEEPS/VPK classrooms are staffed with one certified teacher and two paraprofessionals (teacher assistants) for 8 PEEPS students and 10 VPK students.

    Eligible Students

    The program has no income requirements or restrictions. The program is available to children who reside in Florida and will be eligible for kindergarten the following fall (5 on or before September 1).

    Classroom Models

    The VPK program is offered through the public school system as well as through private providers throughout the state of Florida. Hillsborough County Public Schools provides the VPK program through several delivery models:

    Each summer, our school district provides the VPK program at approximately 15 schools throughout the district. This program is offered from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm (M-TH) and runs from June 4th-July 24th. The program provides a quality instructional program. Free breakfast and lunch are included at all sites.

    For more information, call the VPK Office at (813) 272-4516.

    PEEPS/VPK Blended Classrooms
    The district also provides VPK blended with our Primary Exceptional Education Preschool Services (PEEPS) in approximately 40 classrooms across the district. In these classrooms, 8 PEEPS students are blended with 10 VPK students. This model provides a regular school day program running from 7:40 AM until 1:55 PM throughout the school year. Bell times may vary at certain sites. Important note: The first 3.5 hours of the day are our VPK program hours (7:40 AM - 11:10 AM). The remainder of the day (11:10 AM – 1:55 PM) is our Extended Learning Time and a fee applies for these hours.

    For questions about this program please contact the VPK office at (813) 272-4516.

    Any age-eligible child may apply for this program. This is not blended with any other program. Children may leave after the 3.5 hours of VPK or may be picked up at the end of the regular school day and pay the Extended Learning Fee. 

    Application Timeline

    School-year program – Families may place their name on a "prioritized" waitlist in late January and are prioritized based on a points system. Families must apply for a VPK certificate of eligibility through the state portal.

    Summer – Registration opens in late March at each of the open Summer VPK sites. Pending capacity, all eligible students are accepted.

    Hours of Operation

    Bell times may vary - Bell Schedule information
    School-year PEEPS/VPK – VPK is 3.5 hours of the day. Extended Learning Time completes the day until regular dismissal time. 

    • PreK/VPK - 7:40AM- 1:55PM  
    • VPK does not offer after-school care services. 
    • Summer VPK – 7:00AM – 5:30PM during the summer (closed Fridays)


    The are NO fees for the 3.5 hours of VPK, only for the wrap around time after VPK. The following fees apply for the extended day:

    • PEEPS/VPK- $25 per week for children qualifying for free and reduced lunch (Even at a participating CEP school), $50 per week for children qualifying for reduced lunch and $100 a week for children who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch (Fees cover Extended Time until dismissal) 
    • Summer - No fees