Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme

Research has shown that the school holidays can be pressure points for some families. For some children this can lead to a holiday experience gap, with children from low-income households being:

  • 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

The Department for Educations HAF programme is a response to this issue, with evidence showing that free holiday clubs 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
  • use local partnerships and connections, particularly with the voluntary and community organisation sector

In 2021, the HAF programme enabled us to support hundreds of thousands of children and their families throughout the Easter, summer and Christmas school holidays.

Funding for 2022

On 27 October 2021 the government announced a further investment of over £200 million per year over the next 3 financial years for the holiday activities and food (HAF) programme, which follows the successful roll out of the programme across England in 2021.

Who can apply?

The programme is available to any public, private or voluntary sector organisation that provides childcare provision in school holidays for children aged between 5 and 16 years of age (see guidance is available below).

What is it?

Overall, local authorities are expected to offer the equivalent of 6 weeks’ holiday provision to children and young people eligible for benefit-related free school meals.  We are looking for Providers that are willing to offer provision during some or all of the following school holidays:

Over Easter:

  • we expect that all participating children should benefit from at least a week of face-to-face provision at Easter, which should be for a minimum of 4 days
  • for most children, each day at Easter should consist of at least 4 hours of provision, but the local authority should ensure that provision is tailored to need

Over summer:

  • for local authorities that have a summer holiday that spans 6 full calendar weeks, participating children should be offered at least 4 weeks of face-to-face provision, which cover a minimum of 16 days
  • for local authorities that have a summer holiday that is less than 6 full calendar weeks, participating children should be offered at least 3 weeks of face-to-face provision, which should cover a minimum of 12 days
  • if only 3 weeks are offered in summer, then these local authorities are expected to offer an additional week during a half-term holiday period (see below), so that their overall provision reaches 6 weeks across the year
  • for most children, each day during summer should consist of at least 4 hours of provision, but the local authority should ensure that provision is tailored to need

Over Christmas:

  • we expect that all participating children should benefit from a week of support which covers a minimum of 4 days
  • as in 2021, our preference is at least 4 days of face-to-face provision, however where this is not possible, it should consist of at least 2 days of face-to-face provision complemented by at least 2 days of HAF support which can be provided in the form of high-quality food hampers and activity packs
  • for most children, each day of face-to-face provision at Christmas should consist of at least 4 hours of provision but the local authority should ensure that provision is tailored to need

We know that many Providers will continue to deliver a holiday programme that runs for more hours, days and weeks than our minimum expectation, and we encourage them to continue to do this. The paragraphs above set out our minimum expectations, and we welcome applications that are offering more than the minimum.

Aims of the programme

As a result of this programme, we want children who attend this provision to:

  • eat healthily over the school holidays
  • be active during the school holidays
  • take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character and wellbeing along with their wider educational attainment
  • be safe and not to be socially isolated
  • have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition
  • be more engaged with school and other local services

We also want to ensure that the families who participate in this programme:

  • develop their understanding of nutrition and food budgeting
  • are signposted towards other information and support, for example, health, employment, and education

When can I apply?

The fund will re-open for Summer activities at 9am on Monday, 2nd May and will close at midnight on Friday 20th May 2022.

How much can I apply for?

For organisations wishing to apply for all holidays in a calendar year you can apply for up to £100,000k. If you have the capacity to deliver a larger scheme please contact the Wigan HAF Team direct by email HAF@wigan.gov.uk

How do I apply?

Complete the online application form using the link below

Once submitted you will need to complete the Breakdown Delivery spreadsheet and then send to HAF@wigan.gov.uk including your organisation name in the subject field.

Further Information

Before applying we strongly recommend that read the following documents:

When will I hear the outcome of my application?

We expect to reply to you within 10 days of your application being submitted.

Need Help?

If you have not previously spoken to a member of the Wigan HAF Team before or have an idea for something a bit different it is recommended that you contact the Wigan HAF Team by email HAF@wigan.gov.uk.

© Wigan Council