Centre Cook

Job Description 


  • Food Handling Certificate
  • First aid certificate
  • Salary $47,840 – 51,000 full time – determined by experience

Job summary 

The Centre Cook plays a vital role at Childsteps Early Learning Centre. This role requires a high degree of personal initiative with good planning and organisational skills.  The primary role of the Centre Cook is to provide quality food for the children at our Centre. 

Job competencies 

Adaptability - adapts to changing work environments, work priorities and organisational needs. Able to effectively deal with change and diverse people

Teamwork - interacts with people effectively. Able and willing to share and receive information. Co-operates within the group and across groups. Supports group decisions and puts group goals ahead of own goals.

Work standards - sets and maintains high performance standards. Pays close attention to detail, accuracy and completeness. Shows concern for all aspects of the job and follows up on work outputs.

Motivation - displays energy and enthusiasm in approaching the job. Commits to putting in additional effort. Maintains high level of productivity and self-direction.

Stress tolerance - displays emotional resilience and the ability to withstand pressure on an on-going basis. Deals with difficult situations while maintaining performance. Seeks support from others when necessary and uses appropriate coping techniques.

Communication - expresses ideas effectively. Organises and delivers information appropriately. Listens actively.

Job details


  • Ability to be energetic, resilient and maintain a sense of humour when personal resources are challenged.
  • Continuing personal and professional development in related areas.
  • Maintain confidentiality of all information related to the Centre’s children, their parents, and staff.
  • Regular attendance and punctuality.
  • Neat and tidy appearance. 

Menu planning and ordering

  • Work with the set menu in place and prepare meals accordingly.
  • Effectively manage time so that meals are prepared in a timely manner.
  • Ensure food is presented to children in an appealing manner.
  • Prepare food for after-hours meetings/events.

Administration and ordering

  • Complete weekly Food Record (as required by Ministry of Education).
  • Maintain correct stock levels, ensuring stock rotation and ensuring all stock is clearly labelled to include expiry dates.
  • Ordering stock in line with requirements and being responsible for sourcing if shortages occur.
  • Checking packing slips, keeping accounts and budget control.


  • Participate with your team/Centre in fundraising and celebration events. 
  • Promote the Centre within the community.

Health and Safety

  • Practice safe food handling techniques in food preparation and storage.  
  • Practice safe work methods, utilising and making proper use of safety equipment and eliminating workplace hazards.
  • Understand and actively undertake Centre fire and earthquake drills.
  • Ensure awareness around Centre Policies in particular:  choking policy, cleaning and maintenance policy, emergency plan policy, handwashing policy and healthy food and food safety policy, hazard identification and safety policy and laundering policy. 
  • Take responsibility for your own health and safety and ensure no action or inaction on your own part harms others in the workplace.
  • Ensure that a good standard of hygiene occurs throughout the day and cleaning schedules are adhered to.
  • Ensure the kitchen is left tidy at the end of the day.
  • Ensure all plates, cups, utensils are sanitised correctly.
  • Maintaining freezers and refrigerators at correct temperature.
  • Ensuring the effective and regular removal of waste materials.

Allergies and cultural response

  • Plan for and cater for all children’s dietary requirements including; anaphylaxis to food, food allergies, cultural dietary requirements.
  • Work with teachers and individual families in maintaining up-to-date records in respect to all food allergies, intolerances and religious requirements.
  • Actively take part in risk minimisation assessments and actively plan for children with anaphylaxis & food allergies.


  • Ability to work cooperatively as a member of the childcare team, facilitating a team environment through personal behaviour, work contributions and the sharing of expertise and knowledge.
  • Effective interpersonal skills demonstrating a positive approach to problem solving.
  • Attend and actively participate in team and centre meetings.


  • Undertake laundering daily undertaking processes to ensure cross contamination does not occur.
  • Ensure laundry is kept in an organised manner.


Any other tasks or projects specified by management from time to time or delegated to you.  It is expected that all responsibilities will be performed in a timely, efficient and conscientious manner.