Meet the cooks of Little Seeds Preschool!

Honouring their faithful service

By Cara Lee, Alice Lock & Dianne Seet 

When we think of those who care for our preschool children, we often forget a group of people who are integral in helping our children grow healthy and strong – our cooks! They work tirelessly behind the scenes to prepare yummy and nutritious meals each day to ensure our children have a balanced diet.
We speak to three cooks in Anglican Preschool Services to find out what brings them joy in their work. 

Aunty Nancy, Cook from Little Seeds Preschool (Ascension)

Aunty Nancy (right) with Principal Theresa Enriquez (centre) and Deputy Director Cara Lee (left)

Q: How long have you been working in LSP (Ascension)?   
I started 23 years ago. Before that, I was in the hotel industry. 

Q: How old are you this year?   
I’m 75.  Definitely don’t look like 75, right?   

Q: Why have you stayed in Anglican Preschool Services (APS) for so many years?   

 Every day the passion for my work keeps me going… Last time I worked for money. But now, in the morning the children greet me, they ask me what I’m cooking today. That is something that I didn’t experience when I was in the hotel line… Children are different. I like to be around children. 

Q: How do you feel when the children tell you they like your food?   
I’m very happy. It makes my day!

Q: Do you come up with the menu yourself?   
Yes, they are my recipes. Sometimes we have curry, sometimes chicken. One Christmas, I roasted two turkeys for the children and teachers. I didn’t want to waste the money to buy it outside, so we got a fresh turkey and I roasted it. 

Q: How many sets of menus do you have?   
Four sets. Every week we have a new set. After four weeks, we repeat the cycle so there is variety.  

The children know that alternate Wednesdays they will have spaghetti. They will come to me and say: “Aunty Nancy, today I want to eat two bowls!” One child even told his mommy that he did not want to be absent on Wednesday. They love spaghetti.  

I will do the spaghetti from scratch, even the sauce. Pancakes also, I don’t do from the packet. I do from scratch.   

Q: How do you take pride in your work? 

I am in charge of the kitchen and I like things to be clean. The children are my main concern because they eat whatever we give them. So I need to ensure cleanliness, so that any food that I serve is safe. I also make sure that the children eat the portion of fruit and vegetables that is required. 

Q: What would you say to somebody who’s considering working in a preschool?  

I would say: “go for it!”. Because every day I have lots of fun with the children. When I finish my work, I will go around and talk to the children… It’s a joy to me. I feel it. It’s a joy.  

Huiling, Cook from Little Seeds Preschool (Sonshine)

 *This interview was translated from Mandarin 

Huiling feeding the children breakfast

Q: You were a parent from LSP (Sonshine). How many children do you have? 

I have 3 children. All of them attended LSP (Sonshine).  

Q: How many years have you been working at LSP (Sonshine)? 

I started as cleaner, then I left and came back as assistant teacher. After that, I wanted to do something else, so I left again. Then I came back again as a cook. In total, I have been working in LSP (Sonshine) for 10 years and as a cook for 5 years. 

Q: How did you become a staff at LSP (Sonshine)? 

At that time, a cleaner left, so the Principal asked me if I would like to work at Sonshine. I agreed because I stayed nearby and my children were also at Sonshine so I could keep an eye on them. 

Q: How did the APS community support and encourage you? 

When one of my children fell ill, the principal was very kind and allowed my child to withdraw to build up her health before going back to school. During that time, I was also going through some challenges at home. The principal encouraged me and brought me to church. I began to know about Jesus. 

Eventually, I came to know many sisters in Christ and started to share my struggles with them. I received much comfort and encouragement from them. Slowly, I realised how much God had helped me and I started to attend Church more regularly. 

Because of God’s love, I was transformed from a hot-tempered person and slowly changed my life for the better. Without God, I may have to bear more unhappiness in my life. 

Q: What is the children’s favourite food? 

Vegetables, ABC soup. The children also prefer rice to porridge. 

Q: Any part of the work that you feel unhappy about? 

Sometimes the workload is difficult to manage… There will always be some unhappiness when we work but I try not to put those in my heart. I rely on God’s Word to comfort me and help me to do the right thing and move forward. 

Q: What makes you want to continue staying at LSP (Sonshine) as a cook? 

The love from the children. When the children say to me, “Aunty, I like to eat your food.” When I see the children enjoying the food. When the parents ask me how I cook the food because some children tell them they prefer the food in school. When I communicate with parents and share my recipes. These things encourage me and give me comfort. I feel all my hard work is being appreciated. 

Aunty Mira, Cook from Ascension Kindergarten, soon to be Little Seeds Preschool (Church of the Ascension)

Q: How did you become a cook at Ascension Kindergarten? 

My son was in Ascension Kindergarten (AK). I started here as a parent and got to know Danessa, the Chaplain of Church of the Ascension, through weekly devotions with the children. When Ascension Kindergarten was looking for someone who can cook, Danessa asked me if I was keen. At that time, I was staying at St. Peter’s shelter. One of the church volunteers there told me the environment in APS is different. So I thought why not and went for the interview. 
Q: How did the Church support you through this difficult time? 

Through further conversations, Danessa became very close to me like a friend and younger sister. She helped me a lot. When I left the shelter, she helped me to get back on my feet and find a place to stay with my son. That was a difficult period in my life. At that same period, I started working in AK.  

Q: How long have you been a cook in AK?  

2 years.  

Q: What is the children’s favourite food? 

Spaghetti is their favourite.  

Q: How are the people around you? 

The teachers are very good. I am happy to be surrounded by good people. I feel safe here and enjoy working here.  

Q: How has the community in AK impacted you and your family? 

It is not easy as a single parent. But I am thankful to have a community that looks after me and guides me to grow closer to God, allowing my son to come to know Christ.  

After my son graduated from AK (he is now Sec 2), he went to St Andrew’s Junior School. I thank God he is now attending Church of the Ascension regularly and is looking to be baptised. I am thankful he has friends and a community there. 

Q: What is one thing you want to share with others who wants to join us in APS? 

The school is a good environment and helped me a lot as a single parent. I am happy and enjoy working here with the children. They give me joy. When they finish their food, it makes me happy. The N2 children are always asking me “Aunty Mira, what is for lunch today?” 

I feel very happy that the children are close to me even though I’m a cook. The teachers also acknowledge me and ask the children to greet me. There is a respectful relationship where the teachers acknowledge me for who I am.  

I really thank APS for hiring me and allowing me to work here. Even though its tiring, I feel like my tiredness is gone when I see the children. I am very happy working here. 

To find out more about our preschools, visit

Author’s Note: The interview with Aunty Nancy was conducted in Jan 2023. She has left APS in July 2023 and is now retired.

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