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NCFE CACHE Level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner

If you would like to work with children enjoy being with babies, toddlers or primary-aged children or have had work experience in a nursery or primary school and enjoyed it, then this could be the ideal course for you!


This course gives you knowledge and understanding of key areas needed to work with children from birth to eleven years old. It will provide a good introduction to this vocational area and clear progression routes to either an Apprenticeship or our T Level in Education and Childcare. The course also gives you many transferable skills.

This is an occupational qualification for people who would like to work in an early years setting (examples of early years settings - pre-school, full day-care nursery or childminder covering the age range of 0 -5 years). It would suit those new to the sector or those who have limited responsibilities and who work under close supervision.

This qualification meets the Department for Education's Level 2 criteria. It provides learners with the knowledge and understanding of working with babies and young children and supports the development of the practical skills needed to work with children up to the age of 5 years.

You will learn and demonstrate skills for supporting babies and young childrens development. You will gain a broad understanding of the sector and an introduction to the practical skills and knowledge required.

Subjects taught include:

  • Child development
  • Safeguarding
  • Equality and inclusion
  • Health and safety
  • Supporting activities
  • Purposeful play
  • Educational programmes


Students must have a relevant placement of at least 8 hours per week (paid or voluntary).

Apply for this course

Start date: 20/09/2022

Course code
Level 2
Penwith College
1 year
Start time
09:15 - 12:30



This course will help you decide what will suit you as you progress towards your career. That might be working in a nursery setting and starting an apprenticeship the following year or loving the primary school environment and progressing through your education to become a primary teacher or teaching assistant.


You will learn about and practise a range of practical skills making you employable through activities in class. This will range  from nappy changing and preparing feeds to creative and sensory activities to do with children, reading stories and supporting language and literacy skills. You will then be able to use these skills in your placements in a nursery and primary school. Placement will also build your confidence in the work place.


Within the course your tutors will support you to build on your English and mathematics skills as you study towards your GCSEs in both subjects. They will also support you to develop your academic and practical skills so that you are ready to tackle the challenges of a level 3 course or apprenticeship the following year.


This course will develop your knowledge and skills as you put together a portfolio of evidence for 6 units. It will aid your time management, organisational and practical skills that contribute to effective practice when working within the childcare and education sector. You will explore child development from birth to eleven years, how play supports learning and how settings keep children safe. You will look at professional skills needed as a childcare practitioner and different roles and responsibilities of a range of jobs. You will also consider how nutrition and physical activity support well-being. You will build professional skills in placements in an early years and primary setting.


CAREERS – this leads to jobs as an early years practitioner, play worker or therapist, learning mentor and teaching assistant.

PROGRESSION – into an Apprenticeship, employment or our Level 3 course.


The childcare and education staff are very supportive and will encourage you to work to produce high quality work. Attendance and commitment to the course are both key to your success.

Assessment is continuous throughout the course through a range of types of work including written work and presentations showing your knowledge on each unit. Each of your units will be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction level and build towards your final grade. We will encourage you to work independently on assignments and to aim for high grades in each unit. You will have time in class to do work but should expect to do work at home too.

You will also be assessed on your practical skills in placement and complete a Professional Development Record. There are no examinations within this qualification.

At the end of the year all learners are expected to have completed and achieved all the components of their level 2 study programme and achieved a graded improvement in their maths and English studies before being allowed to progress. You will need to achieve an overall Merit grade or higher to progress to level 3 study.


You are well supported by your tutors with regular reviews by your personal tutor. We have a Moodle page on the college intranet where you will find all the resources you need for your course. We have practical equipment that you will use in lessons.

You will have opportunities throughout the course to go to placements and we strongly encourage you to commit to going into placement on the day you are not in college each week once the placement officer has set this up for you. Our placement officer will offer you guidance to help you within your settings.


You will need to have gained a grade 3 in both English and Mathematics plus a grade 3 or above in at least 2 more subjects at GCSE level to do this course.

Will I need to find my own placement?

No, our placement officer will talk to you at the start of the course to find out where you would like to go on placement and try to accommodate your preferences. We will arrange the placement for you as we need to ensure we follow health and safety requirements.

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our admissions team. We're here Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

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