Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme 2021

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme 2021



The Department for Education (DfE) has made funds available to every local authority in England to coordinate free holiday club provision, including healthy food and enriching activities, for children on benefits-related free school meals for the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

Bradford Council has received £2.8m from the DfE to deliver the Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) this year.

We have ambitious plans to ensure eligible children and young people across Bradford District have access to a diverse range of exciting holiday clubs, offering a blend of district-wide and more locally-based activities.

We are now inviting applications from schools and other organisations to work with us to put on fun, healthy and engaging holiday clubs during the summer and Christmas breaks.

Who is the HAF programme funding for?

The funding for this Holiday Activity and Food programme is for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. It includes children in Reception through to Year 11.

The programme can be available to children not eligible for free school meals, who can pay to attend, but priority should be given to eligible children. We will support providers to offer wide access to places for children depending on local supply and demand for provision of holiday activities and food. This could be through collaborating with existing holiday provision in the area or operating a bespoke model.

Families may be eligible for tax free childcare or the childcare costs element of Universal Credit, through which families may be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs. 

Do you want to become a HAF provider?

If your school or organisation could put on a free holiday club, providing engaging activities and healthy food for children and young people during the summer and/or Christmas holiday periods, then we want to hear from you.

To streamline the process we have used the DfE's HAF guidance to create an Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Please read the information below, consider what your organisation could contribute then complete and submit an EOI form before midnight on 4 June, 2021.

To assist with completing the EOI form we will be hosting a series of online briefing sessions for potential providers. Book your place now.

Expression of Interest


Friday, 14 May 2021 - EOI process opens 

Tuesday, 18 May to Thursday, 3 June 2021 – series of online provider briefing sessions

Friday, 4 June 2021 -  EOI deadline 

Week commencing 14 June 2021- Results of EOI expected

Monday, 26 July 2021 - start of summer holidays 

Friday, 3rSeptember 2021 - end of summer holidays 

Monday, 20 December 2021 - start of Christmas holidays 

Monday, 3 January 2022 - end of Christmas holidays 

How much can I apply for?

We are interested in your proposal and your projected costs.

What are the aims of the programme?

It is hoped that as a result of attending HAF provision, children and young people will:

  • eat more healthily over the school holidays
  • be more 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 greater knowledge of health and nutrition
  • be more engaged with school and other local services

Our approach in Bradford District

Bradford Council is looking to have a diverse range of activities on offer across the district during the summer and Christmas holidays 2021.The will be for six weeks across the summer and two weeks over Christmas.

We recognise that it may not be possible to present completed proposals at this stage. However, we are keen to learn as much as possible about your organisation, its track record and your potential ideas; we can then best assess the opportunities we have to maximise the funding we will receive. 

Most importantly, we want to make sure we provide a quality service and reach as many free school meal pupils as we can, including those we may not have engaged previously.

Provision during the summer holiday needs to be over a period of at least four hours a day, four days a week for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of six weeks. For Christmas the requirement is at least four hours a day, four days a week for two weeks. The four days of session delivery do not have to run consecutively and can be delivered split across the weeks.

We are interested in proposals from schools, voluntary sector and community organisations who can operate holiday clubs within the district and from organisations who would be interested in 'scaling up' their current provision, to meet the needs of a wider cohort of children and families on a district-wide or ward basis. 

We want to ensure we have provision to meet demand across the district so we want to hear from you what area or areas you can cover.

We would welcome joint applications from schools and other organisations working in partnership to offer children and young people holiday club experiences in Bradford District. For example, organised trips as part of your offer.

We would be delighted to discuss ideas providers might have, at this stage, for any support they may need to scale up their provision - and to discuss what this might entail. This includes access to free training and support around safeguarding, health and safety, accessibility and inclusiveness and food standards.    

The deadline for EOI submissions for the summer and Christmas holidays is Friday, 4 June 2021.

What is different this time from previous HAF grant application processes?

  • For summer and Christmas 2021, the funding is only for children who receive benefits-related free school meals (Reception to Year 11).
  • The holiday club must offer enriching and physical activities for children and young people and provide a meal to all pupils attending.
  • All applications must be done using YORtender – the procurement portal for Yorkshire and Humber. This is to improve communication and grant allocation process. You will need to register with YORtender, which uses the ProContract system. To register, click on Supplier Registration on the list on left.  If you need support, click on Supplier Help Guide, on the list on the left.

How to get your questions answered

If you have any questions about the HAF programme or how to complete an EOI form for summer and/or Christmas please book a place on one of our provider briefing sessions.

Once you are registered on YORtender, all questions must be raised through the YORtender portal.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion

Providers will be asked to consider and identify how they propose to meet the needs of diverse groups i.e. food provision which cater for religious beliefs, activities which are gender-aware and inclusive for children with additional needs or disabilities.

Where to find more information about the programme

Visit the government website for more information on the national programme.

Completing your EOI application

We are interested in proposals from providers who can deliver:

  1. Enriching activities: providers must provide fun and enriching activities that provide children with opportunities to develop new skills or knowledge, to consolidate existing skills and knowledge, or to try out new experiences. This could include physical activities such as football, table tennis, cricket; creative activities such as putting on a play, junk modelling, drumming workshops; or experiences such as a nature walk, visiting a city farm etc.
  2. Food: clubs must provide at least one meal a day (breakfast, lunch or tea) and all food provided at the club (including snacks) must meet school food standards. The expectation is that the majority of food served by providers will be hot, however, we acknowledge that there will be occasions when this is not possible and that a cold alternative should be used. All food provided as part of the programme must comply with regulations on food preparation and take into account allergies and dietary requirements and preferences as well as any religious or cultural requirements for food.
  3. Physical activities: clubs must provide activities which meet the Physical Activity Guidelines on a daily basis.
  4. Nutritional education: clubs must include an element of nutritional education each day aimed at improving the knowledge and awareness of healthy eating for children. These do not need to be formal learning activities and could for example include activities such as getting children involved in food preparation and cooking, growing fruit and vegetables, and taste tests.
  5. Food education for families and carers: clubs must include at least weekly training and advice sessions for parents, carers or other family members which provide advice on how to source, prepare and cook nutritious and low-cost food.
  6. Signposting and referrals: organisations must be able to provide information, signposting or referrals to other services and support that will benefit the children who attend their provision and their families. This could include sessions, information provided by:
    1. Citizens Advice
    2. School Nurses, dentists or other healthcare practitioners
    3. Children's Services and other local authority services
    4. Housing Support Officers
    5. Jobcentre Plus
    6. Organisations providing financial education
  7. Policies and procedures: organisations must be able to demonstrate and explain their safeguarding arrangements and have relevant and appropriate policies and procedures in place in relation to: 
    1. Safeguarding
    2. Health and Safety
    3. Insurance
    4. Accessibility and inclusiveness, including addressing equality and diversity
    5. Where appropriate, organisation must also be compliant with the Ofsted requirements for working with children


The aim of the programme is to make free places available to school-age children eligible for free school meals for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week, six weeks a year. The HAF programme in Bradford District will cover six weeks in the summer and two weeks in the Christmas holidays. 

We are not looking for one provider to cover all of this provision and understand it is likely to be a collective effort. It is also envisaged that we will be able to target more free school meals families, age ranges and areas as well as diversify the content, if schools and organisations work together.

Decisions on funding will to take into account appropriate linking across different organisations to ensure a co-ordinated approach to delivery.

Organisations can also apply for only one or both of the holidays, for instance, schools may be interested in educational activities for just the summer (6 weeks), and one group may like to focus on a Christmas (2 weeks) project. You can also apply for different age ranges - the HAF provision needs to cater for all free school meal eligible school children aged 4 to 16 years and activities need to be age appropriate. We are open to all suggestions and proposed plans that meet the HAF aims and objectives.


Please note: We hope that summer will not be affected by Covid-19, as Easter was. However, we are interested to understand your contingency plans for summer. Please provide details of different operating models, taking into account the potential impact of Covid-19, i.e., if face-to-face provision is not possible, feasible or desirable, how will you provide the support that the programme is intended to provide?




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