Government funding for your child at Apple Tree

Apple Tree Pre-School are able to provide '2gether' funding for children aged 2.5 and over, as well as the 'Early Years Entitlement' funding for 3-4 year olds

'2gether' funding for over 2s

What is 2gether?

Devon is part of the government scheme offering funding for some 2 year olds. The scheme aims to offer flexible, free, childcare places to improve children’s learning and development. Apple Tree are able to provide places for children aged 2.5 and over that utilise this funding. Children can claim 11 hours per week all year or 15 hours per week term time only.


Please note Apple Tree only take children from 2.5 years old even though the funding is available from when children turn 2.

Who can be part of 2gether?

You can be part of the scheme if one parent or carer is receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Income support

  • Employment and support allowance (income related)

  • Child tax credit (without working tax credit) with an annual income of less than £16,190. Please note that Working Tax Credit is not an eligible benefit for this scheme.

  • Income based jobseeker’s allowance

  • Guaranteed element of pension credit

  • Support under part VI of the immigration and asylum act 1999

  • Children who are looked after by their local authority and children who have left care through special guardianship, adoption, or through a residence order are also eligible.

What do I need to do?

To check if you can claim the 2gether funding, you will need to apply online at or telephone 01392 385530.

What happens next?

If you are eligible you will receive a letter to confirm it. This is the letter you will need to show Apple Tree to enable us to claim your funding.


When can my child access the free childcare?

Child born between:......Funding can be claimed from:

1st April-31st Aug......1st Sept following 2nd birthday

1st Sept-31st Dec......1st Jan following 2nd birthday

1st Jan- 31st Mar......1st April following 2nd birthday


When signing up a child for the 2gether funding through Apple Tree, please note we will only take registrations during the term before your child is due to claim the funding.


Once approved, the entitlement to 2gether funding lasts until they go on to the 'Early Years Entitlement' for 3-4 year olds even if your financial circumstances change.


Please ask Tracy, the Apple Tree Manager, if you have any questions.


More information can also be found on Devon County Council's web site

A copy of the full guidelines (pdf) can be downloaded here.

'Early Years Entitlement' funding for over 3s


What is Early Years Entitlement?

From the term after your child’s third birthday until they start school, they are entitled to up to 15 hours of free early learning and child care each week at Apple Tree, for up to 38 weeks a year, during school term time.


The full 15 hours must be used over at least 3 days a week within the available sessions at Apple Tree. A maximum of 12.5 hours can be claimed if the entitlement is only needed over two days. You can also share the 15 hours between Apple Tree and another child care provider if required.

How will this benefit my family?

Free early learning and care gives your child a head start when they go to school. Singing songs, playing games with letters and numbers and having fun with other children helps to prepare your child for school and for life ahead.


The learning and experiences your child has during pre-school care helps to shape them and their development and all the staff at Apple Tree are very passionate about this.

Should we use our entitlement?

A Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) survey of parents using the Early Years Entitlement found that parents:

  • were overwhelmingly positive about the effect that early years education and care had had on their child 

  • saw a range of benefits in their child such as improved social and communication skills, access to a wide range of activities and increased cultural awareness 

  • said that they benefited from using the entitlement; for example, just under half of parents said that access to free childcare meant that they were able to work.

When can my child have their entitlement?

Child born between:......Entitled from:

1st April-31st Aug......Autumn term following 3rd birthday 

1st Sept-31st Dec......Spring term following 3rd birthday

1st Jan- 31st Mar......Summer term following 3rd birthday

What do I need to do?

Check the dates table above to see if your child is eligible for the Early Years Entitlement.


If your child is eligible soon talk to Apple Tree about claiming your funding. If your child is already eligible, make sure that you are using all the hours you need/are entitled to


Please come and talk to us at Apple Tree if you have any questions or need any further advice.

More information can be found at


A copy of the full guidelines (pdf) can be downloaded here.