Holiday Activities Programme
The Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) provides grant funding to local authorities. The Local authority then coordinate free holiday activities for eligible children.
Healthy meals will be provided. Each activity session must last for at least four hours a day. HAF operates in the following school holidays:
- one week at Easter
- four weeks in the Summer, and
- one week at Christmas
Frequently Asked Questions for parents/carers
What are the eligibility criteria?
HAF is for school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who 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. For further information see eligibility for free school meals.
Universal infant free school meals:
All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in England’s state-funded schools receive a free meal under the Department for Education universal infant free school meal (UIFSM) policy. Infant pupils who receive a free meal under UIFSM must also be eligible for benefits-related FSM to be able to access a holiday activity place.
My child is in reception and only four years old am I still eligible?
Yes! If your child is in full time education your child is eligible as long as they met the other criteria for Free School Meals above.
My children are eligible for free school meals but have I never applied can I do that now and get the voucher?
Of course, you will be able to apply for free school meals up to the school closing for the summer. Once the school is closed, they will not be able to issue the voucher so if you are eligible but have never applied, do it as soon as possible to access this great service.
My child is in reception, year 1, year 2 and gets free school meals why didn’t I get a voucher?
The vouchers are only distributed to parents of children who are eligible for benefits related free school meals. All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in England’s state-funded schools receive a free meal under the Department for Education universal infant free school meal (UIFSM) policy. Infant pupils who receive a free meal under UIFSM must also be eligible for benefits-related FSM to be able to access a place.
What do I do if I don't receive my voucher from the school?
You can expect to hear something from your school about your voucher in the week commencing 20 June. If you do not, speak to the school office and they will be able to provide the voucher for you if your child is entitled to benefits related free school meals.
How do I book a place?
Once your voucher has been received through the online evoucher system. You will be able to follow the link from that voucher to view all the activities available over the summer. It is one voucher code that has 16 credits. If you have more than one child, you will receive a voucher for each child.
Before I book a place, where do I find details about the different providers?
You can find details of the activity choices on the evoucher system when booking. For further information visit our Family Information Service website.
My vouchers are not being recognised on the online system - where do I find support?
You can access support if your voucher is not working, by contacting evoucher to report the problem and get advice or a replacement. Please contact Evouchers by emailing email@example.com.
My child has special educational needs can they still access these activities?
Absolutely! SEND children are welcomed at many of the activities, please just make sure that you give as much information as possible about your child’s needs ahead of time so the provision can be sure they can meet your child’s needs and be staffed appropriately.
Is there a search engine on the evoucher system so I can find activities nearer to my home?
You can filter activities to show you:
- Which activities are closest to you
- Type of activities
- Dates available
How many hours and days can they go for?
Over summer, the eligibility for each child is 4 hours a day for 4 days a week for 4 weeks. However, some of the providers have longer hours included in the day. Providers who advertise for you to book a full week will take 5 of your 16 credits.
Everything near me is full, what do I do now?
You can access any of the provision across the borough. If you require help and you can not find a place for your children please email HAF@Hounslow.gov.uk for support.
My children do not want to attend can I have the cash instead?
No money will be provided in place of your voucher. There is a wide variety of exciting activities on offer so do make sure that you have discussed the options with your child.
I didn’t get/use the vouchers for the last holiday, can I use it now on top of the voucher I have received?
No unused vouchers can be carried over to the summer. Your child is entitled to 16 credits only over the summer.
Do I have to use the voucher at the school my child attends? The school my child attends isn’t running anything?
The voucher can be used for any of the activities running across the borough. You can filter the activities based on your preferences.