Holiday activities and food (HAF) programme

(Login to view information)

Schools HAF code letter 4 July 2023 (pdf)

Summer 2023 HAF codes (pdf)

What is the HAF programme?

The HAF programme is funded by the DfE, to offer eligible children and young people access to free holiday activities and a nutritious meal during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas School Holidays.

The offer is for at least four hours per day, for four days per week, for one week each at Easter and Christmas and for four weeks over the summer holiday

Who is the HAF programme for?

To be eligible, children and young people need to be:

  • In receipt of benefits-related free school meals
  • In school years reception to year 11
  • Live or attend school in Ealing.

We are also able to use up to 15% of our funding to support children and young people who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals, but who would benefit from a place as they are vulnerable or at risk of food poverty. The HAF programme is not intended to be used as childcare. Schools are encouraged to refer pupils via the application link sent out through gatekeeping prior to each holiday.

How can schools get involved?


Schools make the perfect venue for HAF provision. They are safe, secure, have good transport links, and are child friendly. Many children like attending a familiar venue for their HAF programme.

HAF Programmes usually require access to the playground, dining hall, school hall or a small number of classrooms. Providers who will be preparing food in-house may require access to kitchens, although many use caterers who deliver meals ready to serve.

  • Schools can receive funding to run their own HAF programme in-house using their own staff.
  • Schools can lease their facilities to a private provider to enable them to deliver the programme from the school site.

If you are interested in hosting a HAF programme either in-house or with a private provider, please contact and we can talk you through what is required.

Encouraging and supporting uptake

  • Schools will receive printed HAF leaflets prior to each holiday which include the booking code. These leaflets are to be distributed to eligible pupils (in receipt of benefits related free school meals) only.
  • The leaflets contain a telephone number for the HAF team. If a family would be unable to book online, schools can direct families to call this number for booking support.
  • Family support workers based in schools can book places on behalf of families if they would like to attend.
  • Schools could include information in their newsletters or bulletins to encourage their eligible families to take up their place.

HAF videos

Watch our 2022 HAF films:

Further information

For more information or for support to get involved in the HAF programme, please email

DfE guidance: Holiday activities and food programme 2023

Was this page useful? 
Last updated: 31 Aug 2023

Services for children