Creative Coast Preschool opened 7 years ago as the first and only licensed childcare facility with Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) on Pine Island. Before Creative Coast Preschool opened, parents that wanted their children to attend a VPK program had to drive off the island.
Creative Coast is also a School Readiness Provider. School Readiness is a Florida state program that assists parents with paying for childcare tuition; the program is based on the parent's income. While the VPK program is also a state program, all children can attend the program for free because it is based on the child's age not income. VPK is free to all children that will be 4-5 years old by Sept. 1.
VPK began as a constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters in November 2002 and signed into law Jan. 2, 2005. It is designed to prepare every 4-year-old in Florida for kindergarten and build the foundation for their educational success. The VPK program gives each child an opportunity to perform better in school and throughout life with quality programs that include high literacy standards, accountability, appropriate curricula, substantial instruction periods, manageable class sizes and qualified instructors.
This year's graduating class included Kayden Morris, Richard White, Jessica Coddington, Ruby Jo George, Addison Denty, Mason Martin, Leahnet Valdez, Anthony Congelosi, Noah Congelosi, Lilie Powell, Anna Borderding, Kaiden Valencia, Vida Mederos, Gustavo Valdez, Juan Carlos Perez, Ryan Thomas Albert-Pollock, Lincoln Pierson, Ashlynn Peterson, Adrian Garcia, Gabriela Beltran, Alexa Mendoza, Karina Perez, Isadah Malvaez-Trejo, Treyton Kelling and Anayeli Gerardo Araujo.
All eligible 4-year-olds are entitled to participate in one of the VPK program options and Creative Coast Preschool has been offering this program to all the parents of Pine Island for 7 years.
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.
Creative Coast Preschool focuses on the highlights of the VPK program with maintaining high quality standards that include:
n Qualified instructors (child development associate degrees), completing the 40-hour Department of Children and Families certification, and completing additional 20-hour childcare training
n Age appropriate curricula with a strong emphasis on early literacy skills
n Manageable class size
n No registration fee
n Parents/guardian may choose a participating private child care
n Early language and literacy focus
Creative Coast Preschool educates using the Creative Curriculum which focuses on reading, writing, social and emotional skills which prepares children to be ready for Kindergarten.
Studies have shown that high-quality early education programs like VPK help children develop more advanced language skills, math skills and social skills. The children who participate in the Creative Coast Preschool VPK programs will be able to carry these skills with them into Kindergarten and will continue to build upon them for the rest of their lives.
Creative Coast VPK teachers work with the Kindergarten teachers at Pine Island Elementary to make sure the VPK program is current with the educational requirements of Kindergarten.
Creative Coast students had a wonderful year of learning and the staff knows that they are truly ready to start their new educational careers as Kindergarten students. Many of the students will be starting Kindergarten reading, counting to 100, reciting the alphabet, adding, subtracting and having some knowledge of 1st grade educational skills.
Creative Coast Preschool is currently enrolling for 2014-2015 VPK session. Parents can enroll their children on line at www.elcofswfl.org/ under the parent link, and bring their VPK vouchers to Creative Coast Preschool along with the supporting documents for the 2014-2015 VPK session. Parents are encouraged to do this now so that they can secure a spot in the program because space is limited.
The fall VPK program will start Aug. 18. For the fall VPK, Creative Coast will offer two classes (8-11 a.m.) or (noon-3 p.m.).
To complete the VPK enrollment, parents/guardians need to submit their child's birth certificate, parent/ guardian Florida driver's License or Florida state ID or passport, two proofs of residency for family and the VPK voucher (which they will receive after they complete the application online). For more information contact Creative Coast Preschool, which is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at (239) 283-3423 and speak with Tina Riehm or Ms. Maria.
Many parents do not know that Creative Coast offers a summer camp for school age children. For $75 per week, summer campers enjoy three field trips per week, arts, crafts, games, water play, swimming and many other fun summer activities.
Parents can enroll their children now for our summer camp.