Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Our HAF programme is open to school-aged children (reception to year 11) who receive benefits-related free school meals. HAF activity sessions run during Easter, summer and winter school holidays. This programme is funded by the Department for Education.

Information for parents

Through our programme of healthy food and fun activities, children and young people can develop new skills, take part in creative and physical activities, learn about food and cooking, and enjoy free nutritious meals each day.

    Does my child qualify for the HAF programme?

    Our holiday programme is open to school-aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who are educated, live or under local authority care in Hillingdon and receive benefits-related free school meals. 

    Benefits-related free school meals (FSM) 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.

    Our providers can use up to 15% of their funding towards providing free or subsidised holiday club places for children who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals but meet 1 of the following criteria: 

    • children assessed by the local authority as being in need, at risk or vulnerable 
    • young carers 
    • looked-after children or previously-looked-after children 
    • children who are refugees or asylum seekers.

    Important: Our providers aren't obliged to provide places for the above children and young people. If you feel that your child meets the criteria above, please email our HAF coordinator at to discuss access to a place on the programme. Additionally, not all activity providers will be able to accommodate the full age range of the programme. Please check with the provider what age group is appropriate to their activity. 

    Bookings are made through individual activity providers. The programme offer along with booking links and contact information for providers are on the programme offer web page.

    Parents/guardians need to provide their child's individual Hillingdon HAF reference number at the point of booking, to secure their free place.

    Reference numbers are sent directly to parents/guardians of eligible children.

    If you have not received one, or would like to request a discretionary place, please email or call 01895 277 881.

    Some programmes are 'closed' and attendance is limited to a specific group of children.

    For example, some schools deliver programmes for children who are currently attending or are transitioning to their school in September.

    In this instance, if you feel that your child is eligible, please email or call 01895 277 881.

    Each eligible child is entitled to access a maximum of 6 weeks' free provision per year.

    This is divided into 1 week of activity at Easter, 1 week at Christmas and 4 weeks in the summer.

    Each week-long activity will be a minimum of 4 hours per day for 4 days. Some providers may offer a programme that is longer (5 day week, or a longer day) and children who book onto these programmes can access the whole programme offered.

    Other providers take bookings by individual sessions/days, so children can be booked onto a maximum of 16 sessions in summer and 4 sessions at Easter and Christmas - each session will last for at least 4 hours.

    If families would like additional days during the holidays, parents/guardians are welcome to book directly with providers who offer additional spaces.

    Please note: These will incur charges.

    If your child has a special educational need or disability, or requires assistance for the activity, please contact the chosen provider to discuss further - the parent or carer may be welcome to attend or the activity provider may be able to offer extra support for your child.

    When you complete the booking form, please give as much detail as you can about what the activity provider can do to support your child and ensure they have an enjoyable experience. If your child has a 1-page profile, you might like to share this too. Providers might make contact beforehand to discuss your child's needs.

    If a provider feels they need more time to gather information or put adjustments in place, they might ask you to attend on a later date than planned or do a phased approach, building up the time your child attends. You can also request smaller visits, if this will help your child.

    The providers on offer include those experienced in working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and are, therefore, appropriately trained to support children with a disability or additional needs.

    We will be providing some activities exclusively aimed at SEND children and young people.

    Yes they will. A healthy meal will be provided each day of the activity.

    If your child has a food allergy or special dietary requirement, or if you have a question about the meal, please speak to the activity provider. Contact details for the activity providers are on our programme offer web page.

    Professionals within Hillingdon may request discretionary places for vulnerable children and families that are not currently in receipt of FSM by completing the Discretionary place request form.

    For further information about discretionary places, please email

    If you have any general questions about our HAF programme, please email or call 01895 277 881.