Providers of Holiday Activity Food programme (HAF)

The Department for Education (DfE) is providing funding to local authorities to co-ordinate a programme that provides healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays up to 2024. In Reading, this is co-ordinated by Brighter Futures for Children, on behalf of Reading Borough Council.

We want to engage with a wide network of community-based organisations, including existing holiday care providers, schools, childminders, sports coaching, creative and performing arts providers and many others who can provide holiday activities as part of this programme.

Healthy meals must also be provided and each activity session must last for a minimum of four hours a day, for at least four days a week for:

  • one week at Easter
  • four weeks in the summer, and
  • a week at Christmas

All children in Reading, who are in receipt of pupil premium (benefits-related) free school meals are eligible to take part in the activities.

We are co-ordinating the programme locally and are looking to work with a range of providers and organisations to deliver inclusive activities across Reading. There will be an opportunity for providers to bid for funding to support the delivery of holiday schemes.

Providers are able to apply to us for grants to help deliver holiday activities, with lunch, in Reading. To qualify, you must be able to demonstrate you can provide:

  • High quality, enriching activities (including at least one hour of physical activity)
  • Healthy, nutritious meals
  • Skills, activities/classes aimed at helping children and their parents to make healthy and affordable choices
  • A positive legacy that lasts longer than the experience.

Activities must last for at least four hours per day and can be incorporated into an existing programme such as an established play, sporting, creative or performing arts provision. Alternatively, organisations can create new, dedicated provision to answer a specific community need.

Christmas delivery would be expected to:

  • Take place between 20 December – 31 December (one week maximum)
  • Run for a minimum of four days a week
  • Run for a minimum of four hours per day

Easter delivery would be expected to:

  • Run for a minimum of four days a week
  • Run for a minimum of four hours per day

Summer delivery would be expected to:

  • Run for a minimum of four days a week
  • Run for a minimum of four hours per day
  • Run for a minimum of four weeks

We are working to a budget of roughly £25 per child per day.

Grant A – Adding Places to existing provisions

Applications are sought from existing activity providers to offer free places to children (who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals) on your regular activity programme.

The grant can cover:

  • The cost of the child’s place
  • The cost of providing healthy meals
  • Administration costs associated with marketing and booking places for children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals,, parental liaison and engagement.

Eligibility – Who can apply?

  • Voluntary or community groups, charities
  • Schools and academies
  • Local councils
  • Private providers whose activities align with the charitable objectives of the programme

What are the age groups for children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals?

The funding will cover eligible children from the current year Reception – Year 11. Provision does not need to cover all ages and can focus on a particular age group e.g. secondary.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of FSM children per day for each venue/provider?

No, there are no minimum or maximum amounts per venue or provider.

We run multiple sites in Reading, can we apply for each area?

Yes, you can apply for multiple sites on one application.

Do organisations need to be based in Reading to apply?

No, organisations can be based outside of Reading, however, provision will need to take place within the boundaries of Reading. The children attending your holiday provision need to be attending schools in Reading. If you are unsure if your venue is within the borough of Reading, please visit Find your local council – to check.

Are staffing costs covered?

Organisations can apply for funding to cover administration costs associated with marketing and booking places for eligible children, parental liaison and engagement.

Do we need to be Ofsted registered to apply?

Providers will need to check against Ofsted Registration Requirements for their planned provision Registration requirements – Childminders and childcare providers: register with Ofsted – Guidance –  Most childcare providers looking after children under the age of 8 will need to register with Ofsted. There are some exemptions however which you can read about in detail here.

If you’d like more information, please contact our HAF coordinator: