Head Start Substitute Cook

Since 1965, Capstone Community Action has supported individuals and families in Central Vermont in achieving economic and housing stability and rising out of poverty. Capstone’s early childhood education and family services are central to its mission, offering center-based and home-based Head Start and Early Head Start programs that support positive child, family, and community outcomes that use a whole-child approach and actively engage parents as partners in their children’s early learning and development.

Position: The cook is responsible for all aspects of purchasing, preparing and serving nutritious meals and snacks at the Head Start center in accordance with the State of Vermont Child Care Licensing Regulations. The cook is supervised by the team manager and is responsible to the team manager and the health/nutrition manager.

Essential Functions:

  • Support and implement the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and the Positive Guidance Policy of the program. Maintain confidentiality of all Head Start child and family information.
  • Involve parents in all aspects of planning and meal preparation, incorporating elements of good nutrition, safety, sanitation and appropriate food handling. Actively solicit menu suggestions, ethnic preferences and recipes from parents. Adjust to reflect Head Start guidelines, if necessary.
  • Order and/or purchase food and supplies from vendors according to a designated schedule and Head Start and CACFP guidelines.
  • Store food, supplies and equipment appropriately and in an organized manner.
  • Obtain and record figures on the number of children and adults present each day. Prepare all snacks based on those in attendance. Maintain records and submit them as required.
  • Supervise and arrange work schedules for aides and volunteers.
  • Involve children in day to day meal preparation, as appropriate, incorporating discussion around elements of good nutrition, safety in the kitchen and educational opportunities related to foods and food preparation.
  • Maintain standards of sanitation, safety and food preparation as required by State Child Care Licensing Regulations. Follow designated cleaning schedule.
  • Maintain records and submit reports as required.
  • Coordinate and participate in nutrition education activities for children.
  • Develop and test new recipes and products.
  • Participate in professional development activities including staff meetings, team meetings, pre-services and in-service training as determined by the team manager. Meet with team manager to review work, goals and professional development. Develop an individual professional development plan annually. Promote Head Start and Capstone positively and proactively in the community and at meetings and initiatives.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • High School Diploma or GED required.
  • Willingness to complete food safety and sanitation course approved by health/ nutrition manager.
  • Experience in quantity food preparation.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills.
  • Reliable, insured car. Valid driver’s license. Clean driving record required.
  • Ability to maintain records, basic mathematical skills, preparation of written reports.
  • Willingness to commit to a flexible work schedule that may include some evenings or weekends.
  • Experience, desire to work with children and families.

Compensation & Benefits: This is a per diem, non-exempt position offering an hourly rate of pay at $17.46. Substitute Cooks are also eligible to participate in the 401k retirement plan (with employer match), may be eligible to earn sick time, have access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and have opportunities for training and professional development.

Apply: Please send your resume and cover letter (preferred, but not required unless otherwise stated) and/or a completed application at capstonevt.org/careers) or via email to jobs@capstonevt.org; applications may also be mailed via USPS mail to Capstone Community Action Human Resources, 20 Gable Place, Barre, VT 05641. Please note that only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

If you need assistance or an accommodation in the application process, please contact us at jobs@capstonevt.org or at 802-479-1053.

Capstone Community Action is an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity and are committed to equity and inclusion in our workplace. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and consider applications for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, age, disability, genetic information, citizenship status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

    Location: Barre & Lamoille

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