Early Years Practitioner Level 2 – ST0888

Early Years Practitioner

This occupation is found in a range of private and public settings including; full day care, children’s centres, pre-schools, reception classes, playgroups, nursery schools, home-based provision, hospitals, social care settings, out-of-school environments and local authority provision to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements set by Government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 in both indoor and outdoor environments.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to work and interact directly with children on a day-to-day basis supporting the planning of and delivery of activities, purposeful play opportunities and educational programmes within the ethos of the setting. An EYP works as part of a professional team ensuring the welfare and care of children under the guidance and supervision of an Early Years Educator, Teacher or other suitably qualified professionals in the Early Years Workforce. 

Gateway requirements

The decision to take an apprentice through Gateway is made between the employer, training provider and apprentice, typically after 12 months on-programme.  Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve this level and apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to take the tests for this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.

The apprentice must have completed all on-programme elements before they enter Gateway, including completion of Early Years Practitioner Diploma Qualification (Level 2).

End-point Assessment

EPA consists of two discrete assessment methods. These can be delivered in any order – via remote assessment – and are weighted equally in their contribution to the overall EPA grade.

Knowledge Test

The test will be computer-based and will consist of 40 questions, comprising closed-response questions (i.e., multiple-choice questions). This will be a closed book exam with no reference to books or other materials allowed. The apprentice must answer correctly a minimum of 26 questions to achieve a Pass. Of the 26 questions answered correctly, these must include 3 of 5 questions relating to K5, and 3 of 5 questions relating to K8. In order to achieve a Distinction, the apprentice must answer correctly a minimum of 32 questions. Of the 32 questions answered correctly, this must include 3 questions relating to K5, and 3 questions relating to K8.

The questions will be presented to apprentices through Skillsfirst Assess’ secure, online assessment platform.

Apprentices will have a maximum of 60 minutes to complete the test; this is pre-set within the testing platform. Results will be confirmed at the end of the test but may be subject to a quality check or moderation by Skillsfirst Assess

Professional Discussion

Prior to the professional discussion, the IEA will have reviewed the apprentice’s portfolio in preparation for this assessment.

A professional discussion is a two-way discussion which involves both the independent assessor and the apprentice actively listening and participating in a formal conversation. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to make detailed and proactive contributions to confirm their competency across the KSBs mapped to this method. As the apprentice will have successfully completed a number of direct observations of practice during the Early Years Practitioner Qualification, questioning will focus on the apprentice’s depth and breadth of understanding, skills and behaviours with the apprentice using their portfolio of evidence (including videoed evidence) to support their responses as necessary.

An Early Years Practitioner:

The role of an Early Years Practitioner is to be responsible for supporting child-initiated and adult-led activities based on the needs and interests of each individual child, supporting children’s learning through planned, purposeful play opportunities and educational programmes and working as part of a team to ensure each child feels safe and secure.

An EYP will also support the observation and assessment of each child and contribute to their learning experiences and assist with the care needs of the individual child such as teeth, skin, hair, feeding, changing nappies and toileting under the direction of a more senior member of the team.


The IEA will not provide the apprentice (or their manager) with a preliminary grade, as it will be subject to Skillsfirst internal quality assurance processes. Skillsfirst will aim to confirm the apprentice’s final and overall grade approximately 10 working days after the last assessment.


Once moderation is complete and the apprentice has successfully completed all EPA methods, Skillsfirst will activate certification through the Apprenticeship assessment service. Certificates will be sent directly to the employer.

You can download a copy of the information on this page here

A link to the Early Years Practitioner standards page can be found here