New VOluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Provider Information
Thank you for your interest in becoming a provider with the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County.
Process for Becoming a Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Provider:
The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program is a free pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds who reside in Florida and were born on or before September 1st of each program year.
The VPK program is FREE for eligible children, regardless of family income. The Early Learning Coalition issues a Certificate of Eligibility to parents upon completion of the registration process. Providers are not permitted to charge a registration fee or require parents to agree to any additional services. State law does not, however, prohibit a provider from charging registration fees for programs or care that are not part of the VPK program. Florida law specifies that each parent is responsible for the transportation of his or her child to and from the VPK program. Some VPK providers may offer transportation services, and families are encouraged to explore these options before choosing a VPK provider. Florida law prohibits VPK providers from discriminating against children or their parents on the ground of race, color, or national origin, including the refusal to admit a child to the VPK program.
The VPK program places no limit on the number of children served by each provider. It is each provider’s decision of how many children to serve. You are required to enter an agreement with the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County and must meet numerous state standards to offer the VPK program, including but not limited to, credentials and background screenings of instructors, minimum and maximum class sizes, director credentials, and developmentally appropriate curriculum. Registered family child care homes, unlicensed family child care homes, and informal child care providers are not eligible to participate in the VPK program. Each school district is required by law to deliver the summer VPK program.
Provider Application Process:
Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Contracts must now be completed on the ELCPBC Provider Portal. You can find detailed instructions on the features and use of the portal in the Provider Portal Manual. Helpful video tutorials are also available here. When you are a VPK Provider, it is important to know the responsibilities outlined in the Provider Contract and to be up to date on any new regulations. Please review the entire contract to ensure you are in full compliance with all of aspects of the contract.
- Provider contacts the Coalition's Provider Services team about becoming a VPK provider.
- Provider submits completed W-9, Director's Credential, license letter, and contact information to Provider Services.
- Coalition's Provider Services team establishes an account in the ELCPBC Provider Portal and emails provider their newly created log-in information.
- Provider creates their account and completes the applicable VPK contract with attachments/amendments, uploading all additional documentation as required within the ELCPBC Provider Portal.
- Coalition's Provider Services team reviews supporting documentation and certifies VPK contract.
- Provider is eligible to accept VPK funded enrollments.
ELCPBC will notify the provider if any additional information is needed.
Each private provider must be a:
- Licensed child care facility,
- Licensed family day care home,
- Licensed large family child care home,
- Nonpublic school or faith-based child care provider that is exempt from licensure,
- Public school district.
Each private provider must also meet one of the following qualifications:
- Be accredited by an accrediting association that is a member of one of the following:
- Hold a current Gold Seal Quality Care designation, OR
- Be a licensed child care provider.
Please see the following guidance from the Office of Early Learning regarding Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) accreditation.
Providers must notify ELC of any application changes. Changes include:
- VPK instructor/contact information changes (lead teacher or assistant)
An updated Form OEL – VPK 11A should be submitted with legal name and social security number of the instructor. A complete set of supporting documents (educational credential & Level 2 Background Screening, including notarized Affidavit of Good Moral Character) must be submitted if the individual’s information is not already on file with the Coalition.
- VPK calendar/schedules or program hour changes (under extreme circumstances only)
An updated Form OEL – VPK 11B should be submitted with the new non-instructional days/times that comply with the 540 hours (school year) or 300 hours (summer) requirement. No more than two calendar changes are permitted, unless there has been a temporary closure due to emergency circumstances. If changes are made to the start/end dates of the VPK class, an update Form OEL – VPK 11A is also required.
- Director/contact information changes
An updated Form OEL – VPK 10 should be submitted with the legal name and a copy of the Director’s Credential Certificate may be Exempt if issued before December 31, 2006. If Credential was issued after 12/31/06 it must be endorsed. Endorsement is obtained by completing the VPK Director Credential Course (online), Emergent Literacy for VPK Instructors (online) and Standards for Four Year Olds (instructor led). You may submit a copy of the DCF Transcript indicating these courses have been completed to meet the requirement.
- Ownership/Corporation/contact information changes
The person holding the original VPK agreement must notify the Coalition within 14 calendar days prior to the completion of the sale. A completed Form OEL – VPK 10, Form OEL – VPK 11A, and Form OEL - VPK 11B, and Provider Agreement (with attachments/amendments) must be submitted to the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County as soon as the sale process is initiated for the new owner. The change of ownership will not be finalized until the new child care license is issued in his/her name and all other documentation have been received and approved by the Coalition.
- Change of license/Facility Name change/Address change/Closure (Probationary, Provisional, or other)
In case of any of these changes, a new Form OEL – VPK 10, Form OEL – VPK 11A, and Form OEL - VPK 11B, Provider Agreement (with attachments/amendments), and a copy of the new child care license must be submitted.
- Change in number of classrooms
If a new VPK classroom is added, you should submit an updated Form OEL – VPK 11A and Form OEL – VPK 11B (if applicable) reflecting the names of the staff for the classroom. Supporting documentation for the new instructor(s) (as described above) is required if not already on file with the Coalition. If the number of VPK classrooms is being reduced, please notify the Coalition in writing within 14 days of the change.
- Change in curriculum
You should submit an updated Form OEL – VPK 11A indicating the new curriculum to be used in your VPK program.
All changes must be submitted to the Coalition within 14 calendar days of the change. The provider must ensure that any new VPK instructor or director meets all of the requirements of law before implementing any changes. Failure to do so will cause your program to be out of compliance and payment may be withheld. All VPK forms and supporting documentation must be completed and submitted through the ELCPBC Provider Portal.