State adopts new standards for VPK providers

By: Danielle Koleniak Email
By: Danielle Koleniak Email

The Florida board of education recently adopted new standards for
those providers.

Voluntary Pre-K providers must achieve a certain grade now to continue receiving state funding.

The Florida Board of Educators' new standard require at least 70 percent of a pre-school's students have to score "kindergarten ready" on two assessment exams.

If the preschool doesn't make the grade, the program is labeled low performing.

Operators will have two years to improve the scores, or they could lose state funding.

Officials at Childcare Network of Destin say the new standard makes all VPK providers responsible for student performance.

"So that we can be held accountable for what we are doing in VPK because we are accepting funding and we should be held accountable," said director Beth Culbreth.

Childcare Network teachers already assess their students three times a year, on recognizing letters, numbers, colors and shapes.

They're also judged on their ability to listening to a story,

"It helps us to individualize what we are giving each child knowing where they are developmentally when we begin the school year along with if there are any red flags- immediately they can be spotted and then we can make referrals and that kind of thing to make sure the child is getting what they need," said Culbreth.

Since pre-school teachers only have students about three hours a day, Culbreth says parent involvement is crucial for children to be considered ‘kindergarten ready.’

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