School Readiness

The School Readiness (SR) Program helps eligible low income parents in Okaloosa and Walton counties to receive early education and care for their children so parents can work or get the education or training they need to find quality jobs. The program also provides financial assistance to children who are deemed at-risk of abuse and neglect. Further, a family may receive funding by enrolling in a workforce development program. 

The School Readiness Program works in cooperation with other programs for young children including Head Start, Early Head Start and the VPK program. The cost of full-time child care can be more than $5,000 a year, just for one child. Many families find it difficult to afford child care while working.


The SR program offers the foundation for educational and personal success for children. They are taught the basics of self care and self-management, and gain the social and emotional skills needed to make friends, express thoughts, and cope with frustration. Children are also provided with developmental screenings and referrals to health and educational specialists.


For parents, the SR program provides a chance to access high-quality education and early care for their children while they work to become financially self-sufficient. Through the program, parents learn about child development, as well as to find out about parental engagement opportunities that focus on parents becoming their child’s first teacher.

School Readiness Program Goal

The program’s overall goal is to serve as a preventive measure for children at risk of future school failure. 

Priority is given to: 

  • Children whose parents are economically disadvantaged;
  • Children who have been determined to be at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation; and 
  • Children with special needs

Online School Readiness Application