24th April 2017


Cook in the Spotlight: Bec Hanley

Essendon childcare centre

Essendon Early Learning Centre & Kindergarten is a childcare centre in Melbourne that has been in the community for nearly 10 years. With a wonderful outdoor space complete with sandpit and water play area and a team of welcoming and dedicated educators, children receive high quality care and support during their time at the centre.

One of the key members of the team is Bec Hanley, the centre cook. Having previously worked at the service as an educator, Bec recently made the transition to cook and is doing some wonderful things in the kitchen! There’s a breakfast service for busy families and on trend (and healthy) treats such as smoothie bowls for afternoon tea, just to name a couple of things. We chat to Bec to find out more about her and her role at Essendon Early Learning Centre & Kindergarten.

Essendon childcare centre, Bec Hanley

Tell us a bit about your professional background.

I have been working in Early Childhood Education for the past six years, and recently made the move into our centre’s kitchen.

What inspired you to get into Early Childhood Education in the first place?

I really wanted to make a difference in the lives of all children.

How long have you been with Guardian for?

I have been working with Guardian for almost three years now!

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is building quality relationships with children and their families.

Why did you decide to become a cook?

After incorporating cooking and food preparation into our program last year, I decided that moving into the kitchen was going to be a great challenge for me.

Why is nutrition important for children?

Providing the children with a nutritious menu is an important part of helping them grow, have energy to play and learn. By offering a nutritious menu the children have the opportunity to develop their taste, likes and dislikes.

What’s one of your favourite things to cook for the children?

Pasta bolognaise would have to be my favourite meal to make for the children, because it’s one of their favourites and I can load it up with vegetables!

What do you love about Essendon Early Learning & Kindergarten?

I love the wonderful community culture, and how everyone is willing to help each other.

Let’s get to know you a little better…

What was your most loved food as a child?

Mashed potato!

And most disliked?

Peas. I used to squish them on my plate!

What’s one of your favourite childhood memories?

Playing in my garden, making ‘fairy soup’ with flowers and leaves.

What’s something that most people wouldn’t know about you?

I’m a lefty!

Book a tour at Essendon Early Learning Centre & Kindergarten

To meet Bec and the team through a personal guided tour, and to find out more about the centre, head here.

You May Also Want to Read This

David Colenso Sweet Peas Early Learning Centre

17th January 2018

Cook in the Spotlight: David Colenso from Sweet Peas

Essendon childcare centre

24th April 2017

Cook in the Spotlight: Bec Hanley