NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificate in an Introduction to Early Years Education and Care

This qualification from NCFE CACHE is designed to prepare you for working with children in a range of job roles, for example as a nursery or pre-school assistant. It is suitable for anyone wanting to work with young children, even if you have little or no previous experience of childcare. The course will cover all aspects of working with children from birth to the age of five years, and you will also gain knowledge of children up to the age of seven years. As well as being a qualification in its own right, after achieving the Level 2 you can choose to progress to the Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce.


Course fee£1,595.00
Registration fee£103.00

Course requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course, but you will need to have a good command of basic English, be at least 16 years of age, and be working or volunteering in a relevant childcare setting. You will need to be based within the UK, or if you are overseas then within Europe. This is an online course so you will also need easy access to the internet.

To gain this qualification you will need to register with CACHE. We will take care of this process, but you will need to pay an additional registration fee which is not included in the price of your course.

This course requires you to have a regular placement, either working or volunteering in an appropriate childcare setting. Your assessor will visit you in the setting, to observe you in your work role. During your course you will need to use written documentation from your setting such as policies and procedures, as well as implementing what you are learning from the course. Part of your observation visit by your assessor will be for you to reflect on your day to day practice.

You will need to give details of the workplace setting when you enrol, and your manager will need to confirm some information.

If you are based overseas it is essential that you contact our course advice team before enrolling on this course.

Duration of study

As a guideline, you should allow for between 269 and 282 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments, and time spent in your relevant setting. CACHE recommends 250 placement hours spent in your setting over the duration of this course. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 12 months from the date of enrolment.


This course is accredited by CACHE, the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education.


Theme 1: Introducing the role of the early years practitioner
  • Support physical care routines for children
  • An introduction to the role of the early years practitioner
  • Understand how to work in partnership

Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Understand legislation relating to the safeguarding, protection and welfare of children
  • Use legislation relating to the health and safety of children
  • Use legislation relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice

Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness
  • Understand how to plan to meet the needs of the developing child
  • Supporting children's play
  • Support children's play in early years
  • Support the needs of the child in preparing for school
  • Supporting children's development
  • Use observation, assessment and planning
  • Support children's positive behaviour

Theme 4: Professional development
  • Engage in professional development

Optional units
  • Support healthy lifestyles for children through the provision of food and nutrition
  • Support healthy lifestyles for children through exercise
  • Support children with additional needs
  • Support creative play

Exams and assessment

You will create an online portfolio of evidence using different formats such as learning plans, written tasks, discussion and direct observation in the workplace.

To achieve this qualification you'll need to gain 33 credits: 29 credits by completing 14 mandatory units, and the remaining 4 credits by completing a selection of optional units.

NEC will register you for this qualification with the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE). The £103 registration fee is not included in your course fee and will need to be paid in addition at the time of enrolment.

Set texts and resources

This course is entirely self-contained so no additional textbooks are required. However, it is recommended that you purchase the following book for additional reading: “CACHE Level 2 Introduction to Early Years Education and Care” by Carolyn Meggitt (ISBN: 9781471809279), costing approximately £24. This is not included in your course fee.

Using the NEC Laser

You’ll work through this course using the NEC Laser: an online learning system that makes completing your course – submitting your work, doing activities and getting feedback – straightforward and enjoyable. The system is easy to use and all the work you complete is recorded in your learner profile, forming an online portfolio.

As this course is delivered online, you will need a computer with an internet connection, word processing software, Flash Player and Acrobat Reader. You will need to be confident using the internet, sending and receiving emails with attachments and producing basic documents using a word processor.

How to enrol

For this course there are two ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

You will also need to complete a pre-enrolment declaration form, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
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0% APR representative.  
  6 months

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