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Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) information for providers

Who is the Programme for?

The HAF programme funding is primarily for school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who receive benefits-related free school meals (FSM).

Benefits-related FSMs are available to pupils if their parents are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits and have a claim verified by their school or local authority.

Universal infant free school meals

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in England’s state-funded schools receive a free meal under the universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) policy.

Infant pupils who receive a free meal under UIFSM must also be eligible for benefits-related FSM to be able to access a place on the HAF programme.

Other children and families

Providers have discretion to use up to 15% of their funding to provide free or subsidised holiday club places for children who are not in receipt of benefits-related FSM but who they believe could benefit from HAF.

Guidance for these children and families:

  • children assessed by the local authority as being in need, at risk or vulnerable (this means the child has a CiN plan (Child in Need plan), CPP (Child Protection Plan) or EHA (Early Help Assessment).
  • Young Carers
  • Looked-after children or previously looked after children (Kinship carers only)
  • children with an EHCP (education, health and care plan)
  • children directly referred by providers, school, parenting practitioner, health visitors, housing association (see below referral process)
  • children from refugee families

The 15% flexibility is used at the discretion of HAF providers and places are limited due to funding criteria. Priority for HAF places will be given to FSM eligible children.