M-DCPS Early Childhood Programs and VPK Enrollment Campaign
Applications for children 3 and 4 years old are now being accepted for the 2018-2019 school year.Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ (M-DCPS) Department of Early Childhood Programs, “Where learning begins,” has launched its Ready, Set, Enroll! campaign with a variety of early childhood education and Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs for the 2018-2019 school year. Florida’s VPK Education Program: VPK, a free program that prepares four-year-olds for kindergarten and beyond, is available in over 180 schools countywide. Children must be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2018, to enroll. A list of the participating schools is available on their website at http://earlychildhood.dadeschools.net. M-DCPS’ VPK Program uses a lottery to select students. After submitting a completed school registration packet to their home/neighborhood school before the February 22, 2018, deadline, families will be entered into the VPK lottery. The lottery will be held on Friday, February 23, 2018. Children whose names are drawn in the lottery will be selected to attend the program. Open seats will be available at select schools after the lottery date, so parents whose children were not selected in the lottery should contact the Office of Early Childhood Programs at 305-995-7632 for assistance in finding an opening. Parents may obtain their required stated VPK Program Certificate of Eligibility online at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe website: vpkhelp.org. Head Start Program: This federally funded, comprehensive, child development program serves children from low-income families who will be 3 to 5 years old by September 1, 2018. Children with disabilities are included in the program and receive a full range of developmental services. Eligibility for Head Start is based on family income at or below the federal poverty level. The open enrollment period for the 2018-2019 school year is January 16 – May 11, 2018. Families can apply by visiting any of the 34 Miami-Dade Head Start sites across the county and completing an application. A list of the participating schools is available by visiting the Head Start website at headstart.dadeschools.net. Inclusion Program: General education students are needed for Pre-K special education inclusion across the district. This program offers a free, full-day opportunity for qualifying students. General education students must be 3 – 4 years old by September 1, 2018, and must have age-appropriate language and social skills. This curriculum is robust and offers the general education student an opportunity to learn pre-reading, math, science and social studies, as well as develop their social skills in a school setting. Parents should inquire at their home/neighborhood school or call the Pre-K Special Education office at 305-271-5701 to identify programs near their homes. Reverse Mainstream Program: Role model students are needed for a limited number of slots in Pre-K special education reverse mainstream programs across the district. This program offers a free, full-day or half-day opportunity for qualifying students. Role model students must be 3 to 4 years old by September 1, 2018, and must have age-appropriate language and social skills because they will serve as models for children with disabilities. This curriculum is robust and offers the role model student an opportunity to learn pre-reading, math, science and social studies, as well as develop their social skills in a school setting. Parents should inquire at their home/neighborhood school or call the Pre-K Special Education office at 305-271-5701 to identify programs near their homes. Role models are invited to attend school for a few days in the spring so that teachers may determine their readiness for this program. For more information, please visit earlychildhood.dadeschools.net or call 305.995.7632.