I have a childcare problem, but school is insisting I come in full time

I started a new job recently as a teacher in secondary school. I went back to work with full-time childcare, but on my fifth day there, my childcare fell through and I was given five weeks’ notice by the childminder. I informed my employer straight away and resigned. The normal end date for a teacher would have been at the end of the term, but I asked for special consideration to be taken and for me to leave much earlier. They took five weeks to get back to me and have now said I have to come back after full time for the last half of term. I had managed to get two days childcare  and offered to stay two days a week until the end of term, but I physically cannot do the other three days in the week as I have no family or childcare options local to me that are available at short notice. What can I do? Can I just ring in each day and say I do not have childcare? They are fully aware of my situation and I have tried hard to get my baby minded, but could only manage two days and feel they have not even considered anything to help me. I am already having to give up my teaching career for this. Is there anything at all I can do?

Baby Crying


I would advise that you check your notice period/ contract again – as you have only been there since January your notice period might not be as long as usual as sometimes it is shorter during probationary periods.

If this isn’t the case, I would then state that it took five weeks for them to reply so this should also count towards your notice period and should be deducted off the amount of time you have to work.

You could try asking for a compromise again, saying you can only do two days per week or you will have to leave without giving correct notice.

I would advise you also speak to the head teacher and HR again to make your situation clear.

If you do leave without giving the correct notice then your employer could make a legal claim against you and they could award damages for any losses they may have suffered as a consequence of the breach of contract. However, this is highly unlikely, but still a risk you should be aware of.

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