What is School Readiness?
The School Readiness program is a financial assistance program for working families with low incomes and those with children at risk of abuse, neglect, or future school failure. What the School Readiness program can do for your family. Supports families in accessing and affording quality child care, helps families become economically self-sufficient. Parents are provided with information on child development and family well-being, involves parents as their child’s first teacher. Children are prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn, which builds a foundation for success in life.
Qualifications for School Readiness?
ELCLC is now accepting applications for school readiness program. All applicants must be:
- Lake County residents
- Applying for children ages birth- 5 years old
- Working or participating in educational activities at least 20 hours a week
The total household income must not exceed 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Please note the FPL changes yearly.
To view the complete Federal Poverty Level Sliding Fee Scale click the link below. If you feel you qualify for the school readiness program, there are a couple of different ways you can apply.
this is the State of Florida’s web portal
You can come into the office and fill it out our address is:
1300 Citizens Blvd. Ste. 206
Leesburg, Fl. 34748
(We are located in the old Citizens Bank Building)
What documents will I need at my appointment?
- Current VALID Lake County Florida ID for you/spouse
- Notarized letter of separation/divorce papers (if applicable)
- Certified Vital Statistics Birth Certificate (for all child(ren) in the home)
- Verification of Lake County residency
- Food Stamp verification (when applicable)
- Any additional household income (i.e.: child support, disability, SSI, SSA, SSB, etc.)
- Most recent & consecutive four (4) weeks of pay stubs
- Current year’s award letter (if applicable)
Social security letter must give a description of the reason the income is awarded (i.E.: disabled child; dependent of disable wage earner; survivors’ benefits, etc.) A written statement from absent parent for child support is accepted, it has to state how much money is given, how often you receive it, and be signed and dated with a telephone number for verification.
- Verification of Employment for self/spouse
- Most recent & consecutive four (4) weeks of pay stubs
- If you are self employed please use the self employment log sheets and follow the same guidelines. You will need to turn in your business license.
- Income Taxes (if self employed)
- For School: detailed school schedule/proof of enrollment
If you have any questions please call our office at 352-435-0566 or email our Family Services Staff.
What is CCR&R and how can it help you and your family?
CCR&R stands for Child Care Resource & Referral and we offer you a FREE service with trained CCR&R Specialist providing families with customized listings of early learning providers based on their needs. Our Specialist will provide the families with information regarding early care, education, resources that explain quality early learning and its benefits, community resources as well as referrals to other community social services as needed in Lake County. One of the most important and difficult decisions a family has to make is choosing an early learning program for their children. The environment should be safe and match their family values about learning and parenting. You can also download a copy of the Family Guide and Quality Checklist, available in both English and Spanish, to assist you in choosing an early education program. If you would prefer to speak with one of our Specialist please feel free to call 352-435-0566 or toll free 1-888-352-5253.
Child Care Resource and Referral Hours
Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday – 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Email Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating/Walk In Hours
Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday – Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Appointment Only
Friday – Staff Hours 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Closed to the Public
For immediate assistance with Special Needs, contact ELCLC’s Inclusion | Warm Line at 352-315-6674, or email staff at email@example.com.
Important Forms and Checklists
What is VPK?
Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) is a free program aimed to prepare four-year-old children for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. VPK is available to all four-year-olds born on or before September 1 who reside in Florida, regardless of family income.
Parents may enroll their child in one of the following program options:
School Year Program
- 540 instructional hours
- Class sizes not to exceed 20 students
- Instructors must have a minimum of a Child Development Associate for the school year program (Now referred to as the Birth to Five Florida Child Care Professional Credential.)
- Typical class begins in late August for 3-4 hours per weekday
- 300 instructional hours
- Class sizes not to exceed 12 students
- Instructors must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree
- Typical class begins the following June for 6-7 hours per weekday
SIS Program (Specialized Instructional Services Education Program)
The SIS Program takes place outside a traditional classroom setting and is for 4-year-olds with special needs who have current individualized educational plans from their local school districts. To learn more about the SIS Program click here: VPK Specialized Instructional Services Education Program
The school year VPK program begins each year in August and consists of 540 instructional hours. The summer VPK program starts in June and consists of 300 instructional hours. Children who participate in the summer VPK program must be eligible for kindergarten the school year immediately following.
VPK programs may be administered by public, private, and faith-based providers who meet the State eligibility requirements. VPK providers determine their own program hours and days in order to meet the 540 or 300 hour requirement. For example, if a program is 180 days, it would offer 3 hours of instruction each day to meet the 540-hour requirement. A provider could also choose to offer a 6 hour-per-day program for 90 days. Check with your VPK provider of choice to determine which program best suits your child’s needs.
Providers are not permitted to charge a registration fee or require parents to agree to any additional services. State law does not, however, prohibit a provider from charging registration fees for programs or care that are not part of the VPK program hours. In many cases, children can remain at the VPK site all day but parents are responsible for paying for the hours outside of the VPK program. Transportation is not covered for VPK.
To Register For VPK in Lake County (2018-2019 Program Year)
As of January 1, 2018, parents can register online for the 2018-2019 VPK Program by clicking the ‘Family Portal’ button on our home page. To redirect to the Family Portal now, click the following link: www.elclc.org/family portal. Parents who register online will receive an email when the application has been approved and the Certificate of Eligibility is ready.
Parents are strongly encouraged to register for the VPK Program online. If you are in need of one on one assistance please contact (352) 435-0566 to schedule an appointment with an ELCLC VPK Team Member. Parents choosing to walk in without an appointment may experience long wait times.
There is no urgency unless a VPK provider is unable to reserve a place for a child. If a parent or guardian is choosing a school based VPK provider (as opposed to a private or faith-based VPK provider), the COE cannot be submitted to the Lake County School Board until they open their enrollment period. Note: The VPK application must be completed, in full, by a parent or guardian with whom the child lives. Identification is required to validate child age and residency.
Documents Needed to Establish Eligibility
Proof of child’s age (One of the following preferred):
- Birth Certificate – An original or certified copy. (Hospital birth records are not acceptable)
- Valid passport or certificate of arrival in the US showing child’s date of birth.
- Immunization Record – Indicating child’s date of birth and signed by a public health officer or licensed Practicing physician (Form DH680 – must include parent name)
- Valid military dependent ID card showing the child’s date of birth
- Insurance policy on the child’s life that has been in force for at least two years which reflects the child’s date of birth
Proof of Residence (One of the following preferred):
- PO BOXES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE
- Valid Florida Driver’s License or identification card
- Current Utility Bill (such as water or electric, within the last 6 weeks, must have parent residence on the bill)
- Current Pay stub (within the last 6 weeks, must have parent residence printed on the pay stub)
- Signed and dated lease or rental agreement for the current calendar year
- Current Paystub (within the last 6 weeks)
- Documentation from a homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter
- Cable or cell phone bill not accepted
Selecting a VPK Provider
Parents or guardians of eligible children will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Early Learning Coalition to take to the VPK provider of their choice. Once a provider has been selected and the child becomes enrolled in a specific VPK class, the provider uses the certificate to confirm registration back to the Early Learning Coalition. To see a list of certified VPK providers in your area, please use our review our VPK Provider Profile.
There are restrictions on changing providers once you begin a program. If you wish to change VPK providers, please contact the Early Learning Coalition for information on this process.
Florida Prepaid College Board
Lake County Schools
Episcopal Children Services/Head Start & Early Head Start Services
RCMA - Redlands Christian Migrant Association
Florida School Readiness & VPK Standards
Lake County Florida KidCare Coalition
Florida's Office of Early Learning
“Get Brain Building Activities for your child/children based on their ages by downloading the free app – Learn more about this program at joinvroom.org”