School Readiness

Just as there is an achievement gap in school performance, there is a school readiness gap that separates disadvantaged children from their more affluent peers. As early as 18 months, low-income children begin to fall behind in vocabulary development and other skills critical for school success. Parents play an enormous role in closing this gap, as do daycare providers, pediatricians, preschools programs, and the broader community.

Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. Children, even infants soak up words, rhymes, songs, and images. Vocabulary development is particularly important. A child’s health, and the timely recognition of developmental delays, is another critical aspect of school readiness. Doctors, care providers, and preschool teachers play a key role.Graph_percentage of Children ages 3-6 school readiness by poverty status

by the numbers graph  childrens readiness for school by poverty

For more information visit:

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Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County

Parent Resources [What Parents Need to Know]                                                                                                                                      

Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK)-is a free program designed to prepare four-year-old children for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. VPK is available to all four-year-old children born on or before September 1st that reside in Florida, regardless of family income. Parents can choose from private child care centers or public schools and school-year or summer programs. 

St. Lucie Public Schools 

       Your child must be 4 YEARS OLD on or before SEPTEMBER 1 to start VPK.                                                                                          

Families interested in VPK at any VPK provider (public, private, or head start) must first apply and obtain a Florida VPK Child Certificate of Eligibility (VPK voucher) obtainable online at: 

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