St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School has VPK or Voluntary Prekindergarten which gives children a jump start by preparing them for school and enhancing their pre-reading, pre-math, language and social skills. By developing the skills children need to become strong readers and students at an early age, children are more likely to be successful in school. VPK classrooms offer high-quality programs that include high literacy standards, developmentally appropriate curricula, manageable class sizes, and qualified teachers. VPK stands for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program. If you live in Florida, and your child turns 4 four years of age by September 1, your child is eligible to participate in Florida's FREEVoluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) education program at Holy Redeemer.
Benefits of early education and the VPK program
- The most important growth and development in the brain happens by the age of five.
- The early years are the learning years. A child’s ability to be attentive and to follow directions emerges in the early years. Structured early learning fosters these abilities for later success in school and in life.
- Pre-K prepares children to be ready for school. Children who participate in high-quality early childhood education programs develop better language skills, score higher in school-readiness tests and have better social skills and fewer behavioral problems once they enter school. They are also better prepared for Kindergarten, especially in the areas of pre-reading, pre-math and social skills.
- Pre-K promotes a love of learning in children. Pre-K enhances what a child learns at home and instills a love of life-long learning.
Highlights of the Half Day VPK Program
- FREE for all children who live in Florida and who turn 4 years of age by September .
- No registration fee.
- Parents may choose a participating private child care or public school provider.
- Early language and literacy focus.
- Focuses on reading, writing and social skills. Holy Redeemer currently uses the "Letter People" curriculum.
- Prepares children to be ready for Kindergarten.
- Parents have the option of choosing the provider that meets their own family’s needs.
- Options include: private and faith-based child care centers, private and public schools and licensed family child care homes.
- All VPK providers must meet high standards required by law.
- Ratios are 1 instructor to 10 children.
- Class size will not exceed 20 children in the school-year program.
- All VPK instructors must have a minimum of a child development associate for the school-year program, or a bachelor’s degree in early childhood.
- Parents are responsible for their child’s transportation.