Voluntary Pre- Kindergarten Information

State Legislation House Bill 1A:

  • Pre-K is not required
  • Pre-K is an optional program
  • Children are not required to attend

Children must be 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the current year to participate. Parents have a choice of locations. Parents may choose an approved public school, private child care or a faith-based child care.Parents should choose the VPK provider carefully. The State Law has strict rules for withdrawing and relocating child. Parents have a choice of a free school-year program OR a free summer program. The free school-year program for Bay District Schools is 540 hours (3 hours a day X 180 days 7:30 – 10:30) Parents, that wish their child to attend beyond the free hours the State provides, are responsible to pay for the additional services. (10:30 – 2:00) The fee for the additional service is $60 a week. 

Class size limit as mandated by State Statute: 20 children with 2 adults for the school year program and 12 children for each 1 adult during the summer program. Bay District Schools have limited spaces for the school year program. A school year waiting list will be maintained.  All children requesting the summer program MUST be served.

VPK School Year Program
(540 Hours)

VPK Summer Program
(300 Hours)

Located on elementary school campuses
Class limit is 20
Blended classes offered on elementary school campuses      
Blended classes limited to 11 VPK children


Located on elementary school campuses
Children not otherwise served during regular school year
Offered to all children requesting services,not otherwise served during the school year
Locations are based on summer services offered and student need
Multiple classes may be clustered on various school campuses according to student population 


Children must be 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the current year and live in Florida. 


Parent may
apply online or call (850) 767- 4201 or (850) 767-4358. General demographic information will be taken. The date and time of contact will be a part of each application. That information establishes a position on the data base.Pre-K children are placed by District Pre-K Office.Placement and wait list letters will be sent monthly.Class size ratios must be followed for VPK, therefore a wait list is maintained.Space is limited.Home zoned children are placed first.On June 1, out-of-zone children will be placed if space is available.

ESE Pre-Kindergarten:

Exceptional Student Education (ESE) is instruction specifically designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of children with disabilities or those who are experiencing developmental delays.  Services for preschool children (ages 3 through 5) are provided free of charge through our public schools. Screenings and comprehensive evaluations are available through our Pre-K Evaluation Team.

Florida law specifies that each parent is responsible for the transportation of his or her child to and from the VPK program. However, there is limited transportation for current routes, times and available space at regular school bus stops during the regular school times.  No special transportation arrangements are available due to lack of state funding.