Early Childhood Programs and Kindergarten
Starting Kindergarten is an exciting time for both a parent and a child. For some children it is their first venture away from home. For all children it is a new learning community with new faces and procedures.
For first–time parents or those new to our community, we would like to help you navigate this new educational system.
- Your child can attend kindergarten next August as long as she or he turns 5 on or before September 1.
- Your child is zoned for a particular elementary school based on your address. Find your assigned school.
- For parents who wish to send their child to a school outside of their zoned area, see our choice options.
- If your child will be turning 6 on or after February 1 of the upcoming school year, you have the option to hold off on kindergarten until the following school year. (Note: Kindergarten IS mandatory for children who will turn 6 before February 1.)
Be prepared for Kindergarten!
- View this webinar presented by Lisa Black, the Supervisor for Kindergarten and VPK at Hillsborough Schools.
- Follow our Ready for Kindergarten monthly checklist to make sure your child is ready for Kindergarten!
- See further registration information for needed documentation.
Don’t wait to start the process!
Parents are encouraged to register their children for kindergarten before the current school-year ends.
“Ready for Kindergarten” events in will be held during the THIRD WEEK IN FEBRUARY across Hillsborough County.
Parents with complete documentation will be able to register at the event or any time after that. (Note that the Physical must be dated within one year of the first day the child will attend school and the shot record must be up-to-date). Some paperwork can be downloaded and completed at home ahead of time. Click for more information.
Our goal is to help every child experience a smooth transition into kindergarten. For many children, that transition starts with a quality preschool experience.
Bold Beginnings is a Triple A initiative from Hillsborough Schools. We hope to provide every family with an Awareness of the early childhood programs available to them, Access to these programs and Assistance navigating these choices. It incorporates the following programs:
- Head Start: A federally funded program focused on social, physical and academic development for children ages 3-5
- Primary Exceptional Education Preschool Services (PEEPS): Designed to help children with developmental delays and/or disabilities
- Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK): Designed to provide free educational programs to 4-year-olds.
For questions about your child’s preparedness for school or any similar topics, contact the Kindergarten Department at Bold.Beginnings@sdhc.k12.fl.us or (813) 27 CHILD (272-4453)!
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VPK and Kindergarten Information
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Each summer, our school district provides the VPK program at approximately 20 schools throughout the district. This program is offered from 7:30 AM to 6 PM (M-TH) and runs through the entire summer. The program provides a quality instructional program. Free breakfast and lunch are included at all sites. NOTE: The locations for the summer program will be available each March. For more information, call the VPK Office at (813) 272-4840.
Head Start/VPK Blended Classrooms
The Head Start program offered through Hillsborough County Public Schools has approximately 30 classrooms that provide extended days (until 4:30). Families that need this extended time will be able to take advantage of both Head Start and VPK funding through these blended programs. Students who participate in the blended Head Start/VPK programs must qualify for the Head Start program first. Children enrolled in a blended Head Start/VPK school year program will not be eligible for the summer VPK program. For questions regarding the blended Head Start/VPK program, please contact the Head Start office at (813) 970-7870.
PEEPS/VPK Blended Classrooms
The district also provides VPK blended with our Primary Exceptional Education Preschool Services (PEEPS) in approximately 90 classrooms across the district. In these classrooms, 8 PEEPS students are blended with 9 VPK students. This model provides a regular school day program running from 7:40 AM until 1:55 PM throughout the school year. Bell times may vary at certain sites. Important note: The first 3 hours of the day are our VPK program hours (7:40 AM - 10:40 AM). The remainder of the day (10:40 AM – 1:55 PM) is our Extended Learning Time and a fee applies for these hours.
For questions about this program please contact the VPK office at (813) 272-4840.
New for 2018-2019 – Any age-eligible child may apply for this program. This is not blended with any other program. Children may leave after the 3 hours of VPK or may be picked up at any time up until closing. Fees for the extended time may apply.
- Closing at 5:45: Bay Crest, Bellamy, Forest Hills, Kimbell, Morgan Woods
- Closing at 1:55: Knights, Phillip Shore