Enrollment is now open…for voluntary universal pre-kindergarten in Florida. Parents can sign up four year olds for the three hour daily program—spurred by a constitutional amendment.
Even as the state is asking parents to register their children, it’s also looking for private providers to sign up. The number of registered preschools is well below the number believed to be needed, by August, to begin the program. One school already involved in the process is Save Haven – a ministry of Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church in Lee County.
“Do you have medical records? Not with me. You can bring them any time before he starts. Just the latest shot record and physical within two years.”
Chris Shields is the director. She says the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since she placed a large red sign in front of the church.
“We have been so busy. We’ve had three or four calls every single day and then people just showing up which is fine too because then they can see the program in action. We’ve got one classroom full already and we’re working on a second.”
As many as 150 thousand four-year-olds could take part in the state-funded program. It’s estimated that will require at least 10 thousand private and faith-based providers. However, some say they can’t handle the new students for the $2500 the state is paying per-child, per-year for the three hour a day program. Formal applications were mailed to potential providers last week. Parents and providers can register on line at vpkflorida.org.
Friday, 20 May 2005 01:00