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 2021-22 school year.
Florida’s VPK Education Program: VPK, a free program that prepares children for kindergarten and beyond, is available in more than 200 schools countywide. Children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2021 to enroll. A list of the participating schools is available at http://earlychildhood.dadeschools.net.
M-DCPS’ VPK Program uses a lottery to select students. After submitting proof of birth and address to their home/neighborhood school before the Feb. 25, 2021 deadline, families will be entered into the VPK lottery for their homeschool. The lottery will be held on Friday, Feb. 26. 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.
Parents, whose children were not selected, should contact the Early Childhood Programs at 305-995-7632 for assistance in finding an alternative opening. Parents may obtain their required stated VPK Program Certificate of Eligibility online at the Office of Early Learning website: www.vpkhelp.org.
Head Start Program: Provided in partnership with Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services, the M-DCPS Head Start program is a federally funded, comprehensive, child-development program serving 3- to 5-year-old children from low-income families. 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. The recruitment period for the 2021-22 school year began Jan. 11. Families can apply by visiting any of the 34 M-DCPS Head Start sites across the county and completing an application. Families also may apply online by visiting headstart.dadeschools.net. A list of the participating schools is available by visiting the Head Start website at headstart.dadeschools.net.
Reverse Mainstream Program: General education 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.
Students are eligible beginning on their third birthday 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 students an opportunity to learn pre-reading, pre-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 home. Role models in the Reverse Mainstream program 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, visit http:/earlychildhood.dadeschools.net or call 305-995-7632.
For the most up-to-date information, download the Dadeschools Mobile App to your iPhone or Android device.