Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Please note: if you would like to view this page in an alternative language please use our translation service provided by Google Translate. 

The Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) is a Government funded programme that provides free holiday clubs for reception to year 11 pupils in receipt of benefits-related free school meals in Lincolnshire over the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays.


The HAF programme is designed to ensure a high-quality experience for children that will result in receiving healthy and nutritious meals and maintaining a healthy level of physical activity.  Children who attend HAF develop a greater understanding of food, nutrition and other health-related issues and have the opportunity to take part in fun and engaging activities.

Children and young people attending a HAF club will also have the opportunity to have fun, meet new friends, socialise, learn new skills, encounter new experiences and gain confidence whilst enjoying happy, healthy holidays.

Eligibility

School aged children from reception to Year 11 in receipt of benefits related free school meals in Lincolnshire, have priority in accessing government funded HAF clubs for free.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please apply for free school meals.

Summer delivery dates

The next HAF delivery will take place during the Summer holidays from Monday 22 July until Tuesday 3 September 2024 (excluding bank holidays and weekends).

How to book a place

Summer HAF bookings will open on Tuesday 25 June.

To book on to a club, you will require a HAF Evoucher, which your school will provide. Your Evoucher will include a link that you can click on to take you to the booking site. The booking site lists all Lincolnshire HAF clubs. You can narrow your search by postcode for the most local clubs to you. Please contact your child's school if you do not receive your HAF Evoucher.

If you haven't received your HAF Evoucher and your child's school is closed due to the school holiday, please contact HAF@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

Cancelling bookings

If your child cannot attend a booked session, you should cancel your booking as soon as possible so that another child can be offered the place. To cancel your booking, please contact the club that you booked your child/ren onto. You can locate their contact details on your confirmation email or by clicking on your HAF Evoucher and cancelling the days that your child/ren cannot attend.

Providers can remove all future bookings if there is non-attendance of more than two consecutive days or if you have not confirmed your cancellation with the provider. We cannot guarantee that HAF Evouchers will be reimbursed if bookings are cancelled late.

Information for parents, carers and families

Attendance information

A healthy meal, snacks and drinks will be provided each day of the HAF club, so you do not need to send your child with a packed lunch, snacks or a drink.

If your child has a food allergy or special dietary requirement, please state this on your booking or speak to the HAF provider directly.

HAF providers will confirm what your child will need to bring with them upon booking however, providers mainly request children to wear/bring appropriate clothing.

Transport

We would encourage you to make your own way to the HAF session, but if you do require assistance with transport, please contact HAF@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

Additional needs

If your child requires additional support, please share as much detail as possible on your booking to ensure the provider is fully equipped to support your child. You can also contact your HAF provider to discuss these in further detail. 

Support with childcare costs

In addition to accessing HAF there is financial support to aid with the cost of childcare or accessing Ofsted approved activity clubs for young people (0 to 17 eligibilities may apply).

Further information is available at Childcare Choices for Tax Free Childcare, support whilst you study, the childcare element of universal and tax credits, and government funded childcare for children aged two, three and four.

There are also additional schemes available in Lincolnshire:

Information for schools and early years settings

Becoming a provider

If you are a school or an early years setting and would like to find out about our flexible delivery models for Easter, Summer and Winter or express your interest in becoming a HAF provider, please contact HAFEOI@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

Our delivery options are as follows:

  • The school is commissioned as a full HAF provider
  • The early years setting is commissioned as a full HAF provider
  • The school venue is provided to a third-party provider for use
  • A blended approach of delivery shared between the school and a third-party provider

Becoming a HAF provider starts with completing an expression of interest form, followed by a discussion with the HAF team. Once complete, grant funding will be confirmed, and terms will be shared by the Children’s Strategic Commissioning team for the HAF programme.

The HAF team can provide support to schools to assist them, including:

  • Developing a HAF offer bespoke to the school's and children's needs
  • Connecting schools to third-party providers and partner organisations
  • Full provider training
  • Support in overcoming barriers and developing solutions

Advantages

If you're a school becoming a provider, you are likely to know already the children attending and have a relationship with families. This means children, including those with SEND and additional needs, will be attending a safe, familiar environment, reducing the need for families to find transport to a new club. Offering paid places can also destigmatise HAF and ensure children can attend with their friends.

As a school, you'll already have policies and procedures such as safeguarding and health and safety, and your staff will be DBS checked. You will benefit from more significant opportunities to offer your facilities to children, and you may have access to a kitchen onsite to cook healthy meals. You could also access Opening School Facilities (OSF) funding and resources.

Communications

Schools can contribute to the success of HAF programmes by communicating important information to eligible families, such as:

  • Ordering and issuing HAF Evouchers
  • Signposting families to sign up for the HAF newsletter 
  • Parent mail/newsletters
  • Promoting HAF during assemblies
  • Delivering support and group workshops to help families book onto a HAF club
  • Initiating conversations about HAF with families during pick-up and drop-off times
  • Sharing successes of HAF delivery periods 
  • Promotion of HAF via the school website and social media channels

HAF Recorded Bitesize: Delivering HAF in Schools

Schools explain why they chose to get involved with the HAF programme and the delivery models they have developed to meet the needs of individuals and the wider school community alongside HAF.

Information for third party providers

The aim of the programme is to support children to eat more healthily, be more active over the school holidays, have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition and be more engaged with school and other local services.

Becoming a provider

Lots of different organisations are eligible to become third-party providers of HAF programmes. These include:

  • Church groups
  • Forest schools
  • Special Needs providers
  • Youth groups
  • Sports Clubs
  • Farms 
  • Leisure Centres 
  • Theatre Schools

HAF funding is available for a range of different activities, including:

  • Sport (traditional/non-traditional)
  • Forest school/outdoor activities 
  • Arts and crafts
  • Music, drama and dance
  • 'Wow' activities 
  • Cooking classes and activities
  • Activity packs 
  • Trips

If you are interested in becoming a HAF provider for the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays, please contact HAFEOI@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

The government sets out the standards expected of providers here. You can also find further information on the standards for providers page.

Ofsted registration

HAF providers may need to register with Ofsted depending on the provision they offer. They may be eligible to register with Ofsted on the voluntary register or be exempt from registration. HAF providers that require registration with Ofsted, and those that are exempt, can participate in the HAF programme.

For quality assurance and to better meet the safeguarding needs of children and young people, certain providers can register with Ofsted even if they do not have to. It is the responsibility of individual HAF providers to understand whether they are required by law to be Ofsted registered and to continue to review their status as and when the provision they are offering changes.

One of the direct benefits to children and families of HAF providers being Ofsted registered is that families may be eligible for tax-free childcare or the childcare costs element of Universal Credit. Through this families may be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs if they are attending and paying for extra childcare at Ofsted registered settings.

Promotion

You can utilise social media, the booking system, your existing relationships with schools and families as well your wider networks and partnerships to promote your HAF club. When posting on social media you can also tag Lincolnshire County Council and the Department for Education for further exposure.

Standards for providers

Lincolnshire County Council wants to encourage all HAF providers to ensure a high quality experience for children and their families.

Aims of the programme

There are many benefits for children who attend the HAF programme. A high quality experience can provide children with:

  • receiving healthy and nutritious meals
  • maintaining a healthy level of physical activity
  • being happy, having fun and meeting new friends
  • developing a greater understanding of food, nutrition and other health-related issues
  • taking part in fun and engaging activities that support their development
  • feeling safe and secure
  • getting access to the right support services
  • returning to school feeling engaged and ready to learn

Families can also benefit, when HAF providers include their needs in planning and delivering their programme. This could be through:

  • providing opportunities to get involved in cookery classes
  • ensuring they are signposted towards other sources of information and support, such as health services or employment and education opportunities

HAF programme standards

The government sets out the standards expected of providers here. Providers are expected to read the full guidance.