Resigning From A Job In Early Childhood

Resigning From A Job In Early Childhood

Sometimes you know that it’s time to move on from your current centre. You may have found another centre to work with, your circumstances may have changed or you found another position. Whatever it is, when it’s time to resign and leave your current centre there are formalities that you need to address before you can leave.

Notice Period

When you resign, you need to give notice to your employer. This notice lets your employer know when your final day of work will be.  How much notice you give is decided upon how long you have worked at the centre for.

If you have worked at your current centre for:

  • 1 year or less – 1 weeks’ notice should be given
  • More than 1 year – 3 years – 2 weeks’ notice should be given
  • More than 3 years – 5 years – 3 weeks’ notice should be given
  • More than 5 years – 4 weeks’ notice should be given

If you don’t give a notice period or only give part of the minimum notice your employer can hold back money from your final pay. So, please make sure that you give the correct notice period when you resign.

How to Give Notice

The best way to resign is to write a resignation letter to the Centre director.  Rather than leave a copy of the letter on your Director’s desk it’s best to have a chat with them and the let them know that you will be leaving. A copy of this letter can also be given to head office. A resignation letter includes your notice period and officially confirms that you will be leaving the centre.

When writing a resignation letter you should include:

  • the date of your last day of work (based on the notice you had given)
  • a statement clearly explaining you are going to resign
  • a short explanation of why you are leaving (be positive)
  • a thank you for giving you the opportunity to work at the centre

Even if you decided to resign due to issues you were facing at work it’s still important to be professional in your approach when writing the resignation letter. Understandably there will be far more accurate points to jot down rather than a “thank you” however just let it be! You’re the one moving onto bigger and better things so always leave your current centre on a positive note!

Example of a Resignation Letter

Dear ________,

I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my position as a team leader in the preschool room.

As required I am giving two weeks’ notice, effective today. My last day at work will be 17 November 2016.

This has not been an easy decision for me and it’s taken me awhile to decide. It’s time for me to move on and I have accepted a position elsewhere.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work at the centre. I have formed great relationships with the children, families and educators here and I’ve learnt so much and gained a lot of experiences while being here. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye. Thank you for having me as part of your team and I wish you all the best for the future.

Yours sincerely,

_____________

Taking Leave During a Notice Period

Once you have given your notice you can take annual leave if your director agrees to this.

You can also take sick leave during a notice period if you give:

  • notice of the sick leave as soon as possible 
  • evidence (medical certificate)

Can Noticed Be Paid Out Instead Of Worked?

Yes, your centre director has the option to let you work through your notice period that you had given in your resignation letter or pay it out to you (time in lieu of notice).

If the centre director decides to pay out the notice, the amount paid to you must equal the full amount you would have been paid until you worked until the end of the notice period. This includes:

  • Incentives – based payments and bonuses
  • loading's
  • monetary allowances
  • overtime
  • penalty rates
  • any other separately identifiable amount

Also if you get noticed pay out, you don’t accrue any annual leave for the notice period you’re paid out for.

Telling Co – Workers about Your Resignation

Once you have given your notice period to your centre director then you should be able to tell your co-workers that you will be leaving and when. Keep it short and simple.

Telling Families and Children about Your Resignation

The longer you have worked at the centre, the hardest it is to tell both families and children you will be leaving. The relationships you have formed with families and children make it difficult to say goodbye.

One way to let the families know at your centre that you will be leaving is to write a “goodbye letter” which then can be included in the newsletter and you can even stick it up on the parent notice board.

With the goodbye letter, it’s more about the overall centre and the families within the room that you’re addressing. Let the families know that you have treasured the time you spent with their children, getting to know each family, thank the families for their support while you were there at the centre and let them know when your final day will be. Keep it positive!

When discussing your resignation with families you should re-assure them that the next educator to take over you will be well informed of each child, the room routine and you will make the transition process from you to the next educator as smooth as possible.

Telling children will be difficult as well. Especially those children in the toddler and pre-school room. It’s probably best to do this at group time and use simple language they can understand. For e.g. “I have really loved being your teacher and I love each one of you… I’m going to leave and you’re going to have a new teacher”.  Let the children ask any questions they may have and be honest with them. They may not understand what is happening but they will be OK!

Resigning from your position in early childhood, it’s hard. You form such great bonds with the children and their parents, you are part of their family. It takes a lot for parents to trust you as you take care of their child and knowing that you’re leaving may be upsetting for some families. Especially when they don’t know exactly what’s happening when you leave so it’s best to keep re-assuring the parents and children of what will happen once you leave…

Final Pay

Once your notice period ends and you have left the centre, you will receive your final pay. Your final pay will usually be paid on your last day of work or on the next working day. Your final pay includes the following entitlements:

  • outstanding wages for hours you have worked, including any penalty rates and allowances
  • any accumulated annual leave
  • time off in lieu of overtime – if this has been accumulated instead of being paid overtime this will be paid out.
  • annual leave loading (if applies)
  • accrued or pro rata long service leave (if applies)

Act Professional to the End

Once you have given your resignation, it will seem like forever until your last day approaches. However as you wait for your last day to come around you shouldn’t slack off or be irresponsible! You are still working as part of the team up until your very last day. Here are some tips to help you through your last few weeks at the centre.

  • Your director or co-workers may become frustrated that you’re leaving. No matter if they try to convince you to stay or may try to make you feel guilty – be calm, be professional and stick to your ground.
  • No matter the reasons for you leaving the centre stay positive and professional. Never make negative remarks to parents or co-workers e.g. “Can’t wait to leave here” etc.
  • Don’t make the resignation personal and attack your co-workers, director or whinge about the centre. It’s good to keep a relationship with the centre in the future for whatever reason.
  • Be careful what you write on your social media accounts – parents, co-workers and management may be keeping an eye on you to see if you say anything negative!
  • Ask your Director if they can give you a written reference which you can use as part of your resume in the future
  • Be polite and courteous to your co-workers, families and children at all times!

This information should guide you on your responsibilities of when you resign. When you make the decision to leave, treasure each moment you have left with your group of children and enjoy the last few weeks at your centre. You will surely be missed by all!

Goodbye and Good luck!

References:

Fair Work Ombudsman, Resignation - How Much Notice, Australia
Fair Work Ombudsman, Notice and Final Pay, Australia  

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Last modified on Monday, December 5, 2016

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