Current Opportunities

Current Opportunities

Centre Cook - Safe Haven Initiative

Apply now Job no: 504775
Work type: Maximum Term Part Time
Location: Melbourne East
Categories: Early Learning

  • Part-time, maximum-term position to December 2025
  • Research Project - Intensive Early Childhood Education and Care Program
  • Unique opportunity supporting children living with significant adversity

About the opportunity

Uniting, in partnership with Victorian Department of Education and Parkville Institute are preparing to open a research centre providing an intensive early childhood education and care program. This service located in Richmond will seek to determine whether children, recruited with the same eligibility criteria as those in previous trials, can achieve the same remarkable learning and development outcomes. This will be one of four research sites established in Australia.

The service will operate with lower child to staff ratios, with a maximum of 48 children attending 5 hours per day Monday to Friday and with most educators and teachers employed full-time.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute significantly to research that could shape the future of the early childhood sector in Australia.

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in an early childhood education centre where the ratios were better, the group sizes small, you had two hours every day out of the room for planning, mentorship and coaching and where you could make a significant difference in the lives of children and families? The Cooke Court Uniting SEED program will have those conditions and more. I’m looking forward to working with you!” – Dr Anne Kennedy

View the full position description here.

About the centre

We are a located in a central part of Richmond, close to public transport and have been a part of the local community educating and caring for children for over 100 years. We have large natural outdoor play spaces for children to access from all classrooms to support children to play, explore and engage with the natural environment.

We have a strong emphasis of building staff leadership and knowledge-based capacity with regular high quality professional development and ongoing mentor partnerships with leading experts in pedagogy, family support and infant/children’s mental health and wellbeing. Additionally, as the centre cook you will have access to professional development and guidance about nutrition, menu planning, supporting children with diverse dietary requirements.

We have embedded staff wellbeing practices with regular reflective supervision, a close social team, access to a well-resourced Employee Wellbeing Program (EAP) and ongoing support from a diverse multi-disciplinary leadership team.


  • Being a part of the centre culture and integral part of the children’s day
  • Negotiable above award rate remuneration based on experience and qualifications
  • Salary packaging available
  • Set Shift time negotiable to the cook’s needs
  • Access to Uniting Early Learning Chefs Network
  • Closed for two weeks over the Christmas/ New Year Period
  • 60% discount on CCS Gap Fees for children enrolled in other Uniting Early Learning Service that receive Childcare Subsidy
  • Contribute to research and practice that will change the life trajectories of children and families experiencing significant adversity

We will be conducting an online information session regarding the service for interested applicants, it is highly recommended attending this session prior to applying.

About you

The Centre Cook of this research replication site will have experience in the planning, preparation and delivery of highly nutritious meals for young children.

You will be able to work autonomously in the day-to-day delivery of meals, while contributing to the broader discussions around healthy eating and collaborating with the wider team on menu changes and alterations.

A clear interest and / or experience in working with children in an early childhood setting and as part of a multidisciplinary team are essential for this role.

How to apply

If this sounds like you, apply today by submitting:

  • Cover letter (1 page outlining your suitability according to the position description)
  • Current resume (no more than 3 pages).

Get in touch

For more information regarding this position, please contact Carla Young, Centre Director on 0403 726 151 during business hours or via using the subject line “Centre Cook – Safe Haven Initative enquiry”.

About Uniting

At Uniting we are passionate about working together to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice.

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Uniting is a child safe organisation and is committed in everyday practice to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children, at all times. As a ‘child safe’ organisation, employment with Uniting is subject to a satisfactory national (and international where relevant) police check and relevant Working with Children Check in your State prior to commencement of any paid or unpaid work and/or participation in any service or undertaking. It is a condition of employment that all eligible workforce in Victoria receive the COVID-19 vaccination and supporting evidence may be requested in order to perform duties at any of Uniting’s workplaces.

Uniting is also committed to equal opportunity and ensuring the workplace is reflective of the community. We encourage people from different backgrounds to apply, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.

Advertised: AUS Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: AUS Eastern Daylight Time

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