The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme is funded by the Department for Education so local authorities can provide school holiday activities and food to children who are eligible for free school meals.
Information for providers
We want to fund a diverse range of projects and activities to engage school children of all ages and abilities. Activities can be open to all, but priority should be given to children receiving benefits-related free school meals. Places for children who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals will be made available at no cost to the family. Children who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals can pay to attend if there are sufficient spaces and a limited number of spaces can be open to other children in need, which should be agreed with Lancaster City Council.
Aim of the programme
The aim of the programme is to make free places available to these children for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week, for four weeks over the summer with the option to provide an additional week during the Christmas holidays.
School holidays can be particular pressure points for some families because of increased costs (such as food and childcare) and reduced incomes. For some children this can lead to a holiday experience gap, with children from disadvantaged families:
- less likely to access organised out-of-school activities.
- more likely to experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health.
- more likely to experience social isolation.
Free holiday clubs are a response to this issue and evidence suggests that they can have a positive impact on children and young people and that they work best when they:
- provide consistent and easily accessible enrichment activities.
- cover more than just breakfast or lunch.
- involve children (and parents) in food preparation.
The objectives of the programme are to:
- Provide healthy meals over the school holidays (at least one meal for every day of provision).
- Enable children to be more active over the school holidays.
- Provide engaging and enriching activities which supports the development of resilience, character, and wellbeing.
- Ensure children are kept safe and prevent social isolation.
- Provide opportunities for children and families to develop knowledge of nutrition and how to cook healthy meals.
- Increase awareness of how to access services available to support children and families.
Who can apply?
This fund is open to the voluntary and community sector, schools, local authority, and private providers who can meet the objectives of the programme.
Apply for grant funding - guidance and application
If you are a provider who is interested in taking part, you will now need to submit your application to apply for funding.
Before applying online, please read the below guidance documents:
- Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2021 (link to gov.uk)
- School Food Standards (pdf)
- Physical Activity Guidelines (link to gov.uk)
- Allergy guidance for schools (link to gov.uk)
- Working together to safeguard children (link to gov.uk)
- Protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (gov.uk)
- Registration exemptions
Last updated: 25 May 2021