“My son with additional needs benefits from the routine and structure of nursery, but we’re in a difficult situation to get more hours.”
Farhat has a two-year-old son, Sulaiman, who has additional needs. Both her and her husband work, but Farhat is currently on leave from her job to have more time to support Sulaiman’s needs alongside caring for their older son who is 8.
Farhat said: “We think Sulaiman has autism as his two-year-old health check showed that his progress isn’t where it should be.
“Sulaiman goes to nursery for 15 hours a week and we’ve seen some positive developments. The staff have been amazing to support his needs; he’s much better at eye contact and responding to his name. Before Sulaiman had no concept of associating objects with actions, but now he knows things like if we go and get his coat then he’s going outside.
“The staff at nursery have also been incredibly supportive to us as parents which has really boosted us and made us feel less alone.
“Due to Sulaiman’s circumstances, I feel like I need to around more which is difficult with my busy job as a children’s nurse, so I’m currently on leave.
“Sulaiman turns 3 in July, and I think he needs the additional hours at nursery to develop his learning, his socialising and benefit from the routine and structure. The problem is that we’ll only qualify for the 30 funded hours if I go back to work. But I’m not sure how I’ll cope with the strain of work and my homelife. I’m really battling with myself to know what the right thing to do is. We can’t afford to pay for additional nursery hours ourselves.
“The transition to school will be a big step, so I feel he needs more hours to help him. My husband and I have worked our whole lives and feel that the system is completely unfair. We’re in a really difficult situation.”