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Preschool - VPK Programs

VPK Lakeland Florida

VPK Programs in Lakeland + Polk County

Voluntary Prekindergarten, also known as VPK, is a free statewide program for all 4-year- old children regardless of income. To be eligible, children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the current school year. VPK prepares early learners for success in kindergarten and beyond.

More details on VPK Programs

Providers – include private preschools, charter schools, and Polk County Public Schools. Note that not all preschools for 4-year-olds accept VPK certificates.

Hours –  Providers have flexibility to structure the hours per day and days per week to meet the required number of instructional hours, so each program will look different – some could be 8:30-11:30, other 9-12:30, and even some that run from late morning into the afternoon. Programs are typically 3-3.5 hours each day. Many providers do have “wrap around care” which covers the remainder of the day for a fee. Some providers also require your child to attend all day at an additional cost.

School Year and Summer Options – The School Year Program includes 540 instructional hours. The Summer Program includes 300 instructional hours. There is also a VPK Specialized Instructional Services Education Program that takes place outside a traditional classroom setting and is for 4-year-olds with special needs who have current individualized educational plans (IEP) from their local school districts.

Learn more in our article on VPK Programs including details on how to delay enrollment for kids with later birthdates.

Check out our full Preschool + Daycare Guide for a list of preschools, daycares, and child care centers where your children can thrive. It includes tips on finding a local provider.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, there are over 395 registered child care providers in Polk County. Visit for a full list.

Use the 3 bars on the top left to filter by location. Use the map below to find Preschool – VPK Programs Near Me.

Polk County Catholic Schools Preschool
Polk County Catholic Schools (PreK - 12)

Polk County Catholic Schools has 4 preschools serving children entering Pre-K3, Pre-K4, and VPK. Neumann Early Learning Academy and Resurrection Catholic School are located in south Lakeland. St. Anthony Catholic School is located in north Lakeland and St. Joseph Catholic School in Winter Haven. For more information about our preschools, please visit us at

Schools Include: 

  • Neumann Early Learning Academy (Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and VPK) – 501 E Carter Rd, Lakeland, FL 33813
  • Resurrection Catholic School (PreK – 8th) – 3720 Old Hwy 37, Lakeland, FL33813
  • St. Anthony Catholic School (PreK – 8th) – 820 Marcum Road, Lakeland, Florida33809
  • St. Joseph Catholic School – Winter Haven (Pre-K3 – 8th) – 535 Ave. M NW, Winter Haven, FL33881
  • Santa Fe Catholic High School (9-12) – 3110 US-92, Lakeland, FL33801
3720 Old Road 37, Lakeland, Florida 33813
535 Avenue M Northwest, Winter Haven, Florida 33881
820 Marcum Road, Lakeland, Florida 33809
501 East Carter Road, Lakeland, Florida 33813
Excel Christian Academy (Infant - 12th grade)

Excel Christian Academy opened its doors as Lake Wire Christian Academy in 1974 with a single preschool class and has since grown to a community of more than 400 students, from infants to high school seniors. Located on a 26-acre campus in Lakeland, Excel Christian Academy is a ministry of Free Life Chapel, and under its dedicated and inspiring leadership, has high hopes and great vision for the future in “Pursuing Excellence with Honor.”

What makes your school unique?
At Excel Christian Academy, the emphasis is for each child from PreK-high school to realize his or her God-given potential, developing confidence and self-awareness, creativity and curiosity, and a deep understanding of community and connectedness to others. A robust, well-rounded curriculum with talented and engaging teachers and an energetic and diverse peer group provides students endless opportunities to discover their passions and talents. Our commitment to the core values of Creativity, Honor, Diversity, Excellence, and Generosity ensures the social/emotional, academic, physical and spiritual needs of each child are met. Visual and performing arts promote confidence and creativity. Physical education classes include Archery and Taekwondo. Athletic teams include JV/Varsity Volleyball, Basketball, Flag Football, and Soccer.

Ages/Grades Served:
Excel Christian Academy’s Early Childhood Center accepts infants and children from 6 weeks through 4 years old (PreK4). Excel Christian Academy serves students from Kindergarten-12th grade.

Open Houses or Tours:
   Prospective families are invited to schedule tours (currently virtual) on the school website at or call the Office of Admissions at 863-853-9235.

Affiliations: International League of Christian Schools, Florida League of Christian Schools (FLOCS)

Accreditation:  AdvancEd/SACS

School Hours: 6:30 am- 6:00

School Schedule: 7:50 am to 3:20 pm (with aftercare until 6pm for an additional fee)

Registration Dates / Details:
Preschool –  ongoing enrollment based on space
Academy –  suggested enrollment commitment by April 1 of each year to meet space availability.  As spaces are available open enrollment continues.

Excel Christian Academy accepts the McKay Scholarship, Florida Tax Credit (Step Up for Students, AAA), Gardiner, and Hope Scholarships.  All students are eligible for free breakfast, snack, and lunch through the National School Lunch CEP program.

Click here to learn more about Excel Christian Academy Early Childhood Center for infants 6 weeks through age 4.

Head of the Class Childcare Center

Welcome to Head of the Class Learning Center! We have served families in Lakeland for over 15 years and go above and beyond other preschools to ensure every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Our private school (k-5) offers differentiated learning to effectively challenge each student, ensures a close relationship with students and families and prepares students for their future.

Little Einstein Preschool
3034 Atlantic Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33803
1123-1165 1st Street South, Winter Haven, Florida 33880