Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard (Level 2)

History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.”
Nelson Mandela

This apprenticeship standard is for people who want to build a career looking after and helping develop children and young people. The qualification develops the skills to work with children under supervision and covers a range of job roles in children’s settings such as nurseries and daycare centres.

Key Facts

Eligibility: You must be at least 16 years old.

Qualifications: You will gain a Level 2 Early Years Practitioner apprenticeship standard which includes the achievement of the Level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner. If you have not previously passed GCSEs Maths and English, your apprenticeship will enable you to achieve equivalent qualifications in these subjects by the time you finish.

Duration: 12 to 18 months

Training: A programme of structured on and off-the-job training including classes at the tpm training centre, webinars, workshops and practice sessions on skills and professional behaviour, self-directed learning, and distance learning.

Support: You will have a tpm personal trainer who will support you by phone and email. They visit you in the workplace every 6 to 8 weeks to review progress, plan next steps and identify any specific support you need.

Course content

This apprenticeship standard will give you a full portfolio of professional skills, behaviours and knowledge required to be an effective Early Years Practitioner alongside a qualification at level 2. Topics covered include:

  • Partnership working
  • Using play to encourage healthy life choices
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Self-reflection and professional development
  • Hygiene and safety
  • Child development
  • Planning and organising activities
  • Communicating and engaging with children
  • Equality and inclusion

Apprenticeship journey

Step 1 Initial & Diagnostic Assessment

You will undergo initial and diagnostic assessments to establish your levels of English and maths. You will also complete skills scans with your trainer to accredit your prior learning and achievements so you don’t undertake training for skills you already have. Your trainer will ask you about any learning difference you have, e.g. dyslexia so that they can put additional training support in place.

Step 2 Training

The main phase of your apprenticeship is when you undertake your programme of on and off-the-job training.  A learning plan will be developed specifically for you, using your job role as the guide for your training and assessments against the NVQ. A minimum of 20% of your contracted working hours must be spent on off-the-job training. You will develop your knowledge, skills and professional behaviour through different learning activities,  including skills sessions at the tpm training centre, webinars, workshops, tpmonline, and distance learning. You will also do regular mock assessments to test your competence.

Step 3 Gateway

This is a point towards the end of your apprenticeship when you engage in discussions and decision-making sessions with your trainer and your employer to assess whether you are ready for your end point assessment or whether you need additional training. You must have achieved your Functional Skills to Level 1 (or GCSE) and be deemed competent in all skills, knowledge and behaviours. You must have also completed all assessments within your NVQ.

Step 4 End Point Assessment (EPA) 

This is the last stage of your apprenticeship, where the skills, knowledge and professional behaviours you have acquired are assessed by an independent end point assessor organisation. You will sit a multiple choice knowledge test and have a professional discussion underpinned by the evidence portfolio you will have built up


After you have completed this apprenticeship standard you can progress onto level 3 Early Years Educator or level 3 Team Leading.

To apply

Speak to your employer to ensure you have their support to undertake this apprenticeship standard, as they play an important role in the training process. The team at tpm are always available to provide advice to you and your employer. Call 0151 709 6000 for more details on how to apply.