Uber is trialling free childcare for drivers as part of efforts to encourage more parents of young children to sign up to the minicab app platform.

The company announced it is offering 10 hours of free childcare for 1,000 of its UK drivers.

Uber said its drivers on average earn £34 an hour in London and £30 across the rest of the country.

Opportunities for the highest earnings are usually at weekends and evenings, but childcare commitments prevent some parents from working at those times.

Uber UK general manager Andrew Brem said: “Over the last year I’ve spoken to many ambitious and hardworking drivers who told me that support with childcare would help them to earn more.

“The cost of childcare is often a barrier for women in joining Uber, which is why we have launched an innovative new pilot for drivers.”

Tania Naseer, who has been driving with Uber for four years, said: “As a single mother with children aged 10, six and five, I used to spend money on childcare to allow me to drive when earnings were the highest, like late night airport trips.

“But childcare is harder to access for me now, so I will be making the most of this new Uber pilot which will also help me as I study for a degree in biomedical sciences.”

A report by charity Coram published last week stated that Britain is one of the most expensive places in the world for childcare.

The average price of a part-time childcare place (25 hours) a week for a child aged under two in a nursery is £148.63.

Uber’s free childcare will be provided through on-demand app Bubble.

The company said it will discuss the impact of the programme with recipients before deciding whether to expand it to more drivers.