Hi all. I would really appreciate any help or advice you could offer. My husband and I are currently experiencing extreme financial difficulties, which may see us either be declared insolvent and/or lose our home. That's not really the issue for this forum but it highlights why the following issue is important. I have recently, finally, secured a full time teaching assistant post that pays holidays and is close to home. It has taken literally years of contract work with no income outside of term time, part of the reason we are suffering financially now, but finally I have job security and a salary paid every month. Even better my hours are 9-3 which means I can collect my 5 year old daughter when she finishes at her school which is just down the road. Or at least I could , if it wasn't for the mandatory half an hour unpaid that I am expected to work. My paid contracted hours are 9-3, my expected hours are 8.45-3.30. Normally i wouldn't object to working a little longer in a job I love. But working that extra half hour means I cannot collect my daughter until 3.45, which means I have to pay chidcare to her school to allow me to work the "voluntary" half an hour. This costs me £200 a month for " after school club" ( I have to pay for two hours even though I only need 30 mins - sometimes less). I am scared to mention it to the school I work in, Ive only been there 3 months so legally they can fire me very easily. Its very easy to dismiss a new starter for any number of reasons," Not being proactive, not fitting in etc" There are penty of other TAs looking for perment work that would work the extra half hour. I dont mind working for nothing, but I cant afford £200 childcare. I dont earn enough as a TA, and as i said at the start, every single penny ,matters right now. £200 a month could save our home. Any advice would be great. Ive written to the council and they say its nothing to do with them. Even joining a union would cost me a tenner a month I dont have spare right now but I will do that I think.