What Do Daycare Cooks Do?

Daycare cooks are specialists who prepare and cook meals for kids in kindergartens, schools, or other educational institutions. They are also in charge of cleaning up when meals are over and washing the dishes and utensils used for preparing food. What else do these specialists do, and what do you need to know to find a job as a daycare cook? Specialists from Jooble, one of the biggest job search engines worldwide, have prepared some takeaways on this profession.

woman cooking inside kitchen room


Specialists in this sphere should deeply understand the subtleties of children’s nutrition. Among their duties is meeting strict food safety standards. In other words, day cooks make sure all the meals consist of fresh and properly stored ingredients. They track expiry dates on the products, check their conditions, and prevent possible contamination of the meals.

Another part of this responsible work is to elaborate nutritious, healthy, and tasty food rations for young kids. Children at this age can be naughty and choosy. They often refuse to eat food if they don’t like how it looks, for example. Therefore, the meal should look, smell, and taste nice.

Daycare cooks also follow numerous sanitation and hygiene regulations. They are allowed to work only after having a full medical checkup. Daycare cooks’ responsibilities comprise a wide range of tasks. First, they ensure kids are provided with healthy meals that can meet any dietary needs (if children have them). Apart from cleaning the dishes after the children are done with lunch, day cooks also prepare and sort out products for the following meals. They pack up food for the following meals.

To provide children with a healthy and well-balanced diet, day cooks regularly update the receipts, taking into account kids’ preferences and tastes. Nutrition should change occasionally, so children get acquainted with various combinations of products and develop their flavoring perception.

Day cooks also keep the kitchen equipment clean and neat. They make sure it works properly. Besides, these specialists don’t let kids be around this equipment because it can harm them. Safety regulations are vital in this profession, so every specialist should know and follow them.


There are several main job requirements that a day cook should meet: when it comes to education, these specialists should have a high school diploma. Also, employers often prefer candidates who accomplished culinary courses or special programs for catering sphere workers. Alternatively, you can have an experience in a similar role. Working in a restaurant, café, or serving at various events will be a big advantage.

An indispensable part of the daycare cook’s employment is the on-the-job training. This stage is about learning additional food safety and equipment regulations, working with the facility’s utensils, and participating in the menu creation process. During the training, you may shadow another specialist in the kitchen and learn from her, how to fulfill daily tasks.

Certification or licensing is not necessary for this job. However, it largely depends on the employer’s requirements and the place where you want to work.


Among the most necessary skills, day cooks should have are the following: Attention to detail (since you have to take care of the products and meet numerous food safety regulations). Preparing meals for children requires following the recipes exactly. You are in charge of providing children with a well-balanced and healthy meal, so the food must be safe for consumption and that the kids enjoy it.

Passion for cooking is another crucial moment to keep in mind. If you don’t like preparing meals, this job could be too tedious for you), and the ability to organize your working environment. Don’t underestimate the need to organize your working environment well. Although everyone has their own tasks, it’s always a big advantage when every employee takes care of the food safety, clean equipment, and kitchen, and ensures that the team possesses all the necessary ingredients and supplies.