In 1996, the Florida Legislature established the Gold Seal Quality Care program to acknowledge child care facilities and family day care homes that are accredited by nationally recognized agencies and whose standards reflect quality in the level of care and supervision provided to children. In addition, the Legislature established provisions for Gold Seal providers participating in the subsidized child care program, a.k.a. school readiness and early Learning, to receive a higher reimbursement per child, than providers not receiving a Gold Seal designation.
In 1999, the Legislature revised the program to provide tax incentives through the Department of Revenue or county tax appraiser for participating in the Gold Seal Quality Care Program. Since then, the Legislature has revised the maximum amount of the reimbursement. Currently, the rate differential cannot exceed 20% above the reimbursement rate established by the local early learning coalition, a.k.a. the local school readiness coalition.
In December 2004, Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) legislation was passed and signed into law. This bill requires participating child care facilities and homes to maintain quality care accreditation and higher education standards for staff. The Gold Seal Quality Care Program is an approved accreditation for child care providers to be eligible to participate in VPK. For other VPK eligibility options, please click here for information on the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program.