WORKING parents and carers of three and four-year-olds in Sandwell are being urged to claim 30 hours of free childcare.

All children at that age get 15 hours of free childcare a week, and parents who work may also be eligible for an extra 15 hours a week during term-time.

Parents must be working and each earning at least £125 a week – but no more than £100,000 a year.

Councillor Simon Hackett, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for children's services, said: “I'd urge families who are eligible and want to take up the offer of more flexible, free childcare to apply for it now.

“The extra hours can help parents to increase their own hours at work and the offer is available with participating day nurseries, school nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools and childminders.”

Eligible children qualify for 30 hours free childcare from the term following their third birthday until they reach compulsory school age.

Parents of children who are three by August 31, 2018, can apply for the extra hours now to start in September.

For information on how to apply, eligibility criteria and childcare providers, visit or call 0121 569 4914.

The borough has seen a rapid response by parents taking up places, with 1,500 children now receiving free childcare since the introduction of the 30-hour offer in September last year.