Parents are calling for 11th hour support to save a popular playgroup.

Twelve toddlers, including three with special educational needs (SEN), attend the Snoop playgroup at the Holybrook Centre in Ravenscliffe, Bradford.

The registered charity provides a much-needed lifeline for parents on the estate.

However, the playgroup receives no direct funding from Bradford Council’s Early Year’s Service and could now close at the end of this month if no financial support can be found.

Councillor Carol Beardmore, who set-up the playgroup in 2007, said: “The playgroup has never been funded at all. And the Early Years Service has never provided any money for our children who have special needs. We have had discussions with the Council and asked them to look at it but they have not done so. We need around £15,000 or we will have to close at the end of the month.”

Coun Beardmore said a grey area surrounded the childcare available to toddlers with special needs who had not yet received a statement confirming what kind of support they required.

Kimberley Wright, 27, a supply teacher from Greengates whose three-year-old son Maxwell has autism, said she had turned to the Snoop playgroup after being offered just one hour a week at a children’s centre.

She said: “Because of the severe needs Maxwell has I was told we could have one hour at a children’s centre – and I would have to be there to supervise him. However, we are able to come to Snoop for a morning and afternoon a week and he plays with mainstream children and has really come on.”

Mother Mary Tathamba, 36, attends the Snoop playgroup with son three-year-old son Elius. Mrs Tathamba, of Redcar Road, is also waiting for a statement after doctors said Elius also had a form of autism.

She said: “I would be lost if the playgroup closed. At the moment I don’t think Elius would survive in a mainstream school or nursery.”

Cindy Peek, Bradford Council’s deputy director for children and young people, said: “Staff from our Early Years section, which supports playgroups, have been working closely with staff and management from the Snoop playgroup.

“At the moment the provision is not registered with OFSTED and this restricts their ability to deliver. The management group of Snoop met with council officers last week to support them to do this. When this is completed the playgroup will be on a firmer financial footing.”

Snoop can be contacted on (01274) 621066.