Prime Minister Gordon Brown will announce today a new £300m scheme to provide disadvantaged families with broadband access.

Low-income families will receive Educational Technology Allowance vouchers worth between £100 and £700 in a three-year funding programme that will contribute to the cost of broadband, software and computers. Around 1.4m children currently do not have access to a broadband connection at home, according to the government's figures.

In his speech at the Labour Conference in Manchester, Brown will say that the programme will boost children's long-term job prospects, and enable parents to stay in touch with their childrens' schools via email.

"To ensure we are prepared for the times to come, the government will fund one million more households to get online, enabling parents to link with the teachers at their children's school and helping young people with their homework and coursework," Brown will tell delegates.