Early Learning Center Cook

Job description
Are you passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of children and families? Penfield Children’s Center is a seeking a dedicated and enthusiast Food Service Coordinator to join our team. At Penfield we are committed to providing high-quality care and support for children with all abilities.

The Early Childhood Cook/Nutrition specialist is responsible for providing daily meals and snacks for the agency’s client population, while also maintaining kitchen equipment and for food and beverage preparations for meetings. The Early Childhood Cook/Nutrition specialist reports directly to the Director of Facilities Management.

Working relationships
Agency Staff
Community Professionals
General public

Prime functions
Prepare meals and snacks, daily, for the agency’s client population:

  • Daily, obtain expected meal counts, from each classroom for current days lunch and breakfast for next service day.
  • Prepare meals according to expected attendance and age group for breakfast and lunch service.
  • Ensure that children’s nutritional needs are being met by keeping an updated list of food allergies and special diets.
  • Prepare and deliver food to all classrooms as appropriate.
  • Document, weekly, temperature of food items.

Maintain kitchen equipment, cooking utensils and classroom supplies in a clean, organized and sanitary manner:

  • Keep storage areas clean, organized and free of clutter.

On a daily basis, ensure that food items are stored in proper containers and dated:

  • Remove outdated food items.
  • Order kitchen chemicals as needed and utilize according to guidelines. Maintain documentation of de-liming of Sanitizer.
  • Daily cleaning of counters, sinks, and floors with additional monthly duties, according to checklists, to maintain overall cleanliness of the kitchen.
  • Thoroughly clean classroom feeding equipment, mouthed toys, service bins and classroom cart after each meal service.
  • Work with Facilities Director with regards to upkeep of kitchen equipment, including repairs and ordering of new equipment, and system services, i.e. grease trap and exhaust.
  • Work with Facilities Director to assist outside vendors when necessary

Set up and prepare food and beverage items for meetings:

  • Set up plates, utensils, napkins, cups etc. according to meeting menu request.
  • Prepare coffee decanters, cream, sugar, etc.
  • Maintain adequate supply of bottled water, soda and juices in refrigerator for meetings.
  • Maintain adequate supply of food items for meetings.
  • Order meeting supplies as necessary.

Assist the agency as needed:

  • Maintain prompt hours and notify supervisor of illness/absence.
  • Monitors and appropriately utilizes earned time off.
  • Attends and participates in department staff meetings.
  • Is familiar with Wisconsin Child Care Licensing rules and USDA regulations associated with food preparation and storage.
  • Complete training on USDA/CACFP related topics.
  • Complies with Penfield Children’s Center personnel policies.
  • Develop a positive working rapport with agency personnel.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned
  • Encouraged to volunteer 4 hours of time per year to a Penfield activity


  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Minimum, certification in: Safe Serve and Food Safety Management, but Associates degree in food service, home economics, food preparation or basic nutrition preferred.
  • 2 years’ kitchen experience preferred, including maintaining a kitchen inventory.
  • Ability to work well independently or as a member of a team.
  • Actively demonstrates a commitment to understanding and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
  • CACFP knowledge/training preferred.
  • Ideal candidate will havec Serv Safe Certification
  • Understands, exhibits and promotes the Penfield Core Values.
  • Ability to adapt to changes in work priorities.
  • Professional, flexible and dedicated individual.
  • Knowledge of USDA requirements, preferred.
  • Familiarity with safe food handling
  • Ability to multi-task.
  • Proficiency in the use of all kitchen equipment
  • Ability to lift or move objects of 50 lbs. or less on a daily basis.
  • Must have sufficient mobility to move- including bend, stoop, reach, lift and grasp.
  • Meeting vaccine standards as outlined in the Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

Core Values

Lead with Love – We welcome everyone with compassion and empathy; patience and kindness. To lead with love, we look for the best in our co-workers, our families, and ourselves.

Grow with Us – We celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes. We believe there is always a better way asking questions that challenge the status quo, improve our process and make our work easier. Grow with us allows us to focus on how we can improve ourselves and, in the process, better serve the children and families in our care.

Better Together – Together, we can do amazing things. Children and families trust us and depend on us to work as a team to meet their needs. We are better together when we maximize our strengths, the gifts of our colleagues and the commitment of our amazing partners.

Do What it Takes – We are determined, motivated and adaptable. We solve problems. We own our work, our actions and our behaviors. We step up to help our co-workers, partners and our families. We do what it takes to get the job done right and done well.

Be Present – We bring our best genuine self to everything we do. Being present allows us to bring our passion and commitment to our work to ensure the best possible outcomes for Penfield.

What we Do

  • We communicate effectively, give feedback honestly and receive it with an open mind
  • We use data and processes to drive decisions
  • We celebrate success and learn from our mistakes
  • We work to find balance in our personal and professional life
  • We provide the same care and compassion to our colleagues and ourselves that we share everyday with the people we serve

Penfield Children’s Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $16.00 – $18.00 per hour

401(k) matching
Dental insurance
Employee discount
Flexible schedule
Health insurance
Paid time off
Paid training
Vision insurance

Experience level: 2 years

8 hour shift
Day shift
Morning shift

Weekly day range:
Monday to Friday
No weekends

Shift availability:
Day Shift (Preferred)

Ability to Commute:
Milwaukee, WI 53233 (Required)

Work Location: In person

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