Suffolk/ Essex: Working parents to get more free childcare

File photos of (from the left) Ed Balls, Bettany Hughes and Mick Hucknall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

File photos of (from the left) Ed Balls, Bettany Hughes and Mick Hucknall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2013. See PA story QUOTE Quotes. Photo credit should read: PA Wire - Credit: PA

Working parents will receive 25 hours of free childcare a week under a Labour government for any children they have aged three and four in a move Labour claims would apply to more than 5,600 children in Suffolk and 11,805 children in Essex.

In his keynote speech shadow chancellor Ed Balls said he intends to increase the number of hours covered by state funding from 15 to households where single parents or both parents in a couple hold down jobs.

It comes on top of Labour’s pledge at the start of its autumn conference in Brighton to provide wraparound care through schools to help ease the childcare burden for families.

The policy would be paid for by increasing a bank levy to raise an extra £800m a year, Mr Balls claimed.

He said; “For the first time parents will be able to work part-time without having to worry about the cost of childcare. Making work pay. Tackling the cost of living crisis. A radical transformation in the provision of childcare in our country.”

The East of England champion dismissed as “nonsense” Conservative claims of a £27.9 billion “black hole” in Labour’s tax-and-spend plans, saying: “There are no uncosted spending commitments. There will be no more day-to-day borrowing from Labour in 2015.”