14/08/2014 12:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Free Childcare: Labour Promises 25 Hours Of Free Childcare A Week For Working Parents

A close-up of caucasian carer little boys during art and craft in a nursery setting.Nikon D3X. converted from RAW.Note to inspector: artwork on blackboard by photographer.

Working parents of young children in England will get 25 hours of free childcare a week if Labour win the next General Election.

That's the promise from shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who plans to raise the banking levy by £800m a year to fund the scheme.

Under the proposed plans, working parents of three and four-year-olds in England would get 25 hours of childcare paid for per week. Parents of that age range currently get 15 hours a week.

The extra 10 hours proposed by Labour would be made available to families where all parents are in work – including single parents and couples.

Labour said around 440,000 children would benefit from its childcare proposal. The plan is worth about £1,500 per child and costs £674m

Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Ed Balls claimed families have lost £1,500 a year in childcare support under the coalition.

Mr Balls said the banks paid a 'staggering' £2.7 billion less in overall tax last year than they did in 2010, with the Government's bank levy raising £1.6 billion less than predicted over the past two years.

Speaking at the conference, the shadow chancellor said: "At a time when resources are tight and families are under pressure that cannot be right. So I can announce today, the next Labour government will increase the bank levy rate to raise an extra £800 million a year.

"And we will use the money, for families where all parents are in work, to increase free childcare places for three and four-year-olds from 15 hours to 25 hours a week."

What do you think? A genuine helping handing to parents, or just going after the families'vote?

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