Holiday activities and food programme

Information for local authorities who will receive funding to support disadvantaged children during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.

Applies to England



The holiday activities and food programme will provide grant funding to local authorities to coordinate free holiday provision for eligible children.

This guidance for local authorities explains:

  • the aims and objectives of the programme
  • what the funding covers
  • how the funding will be allocated

The grant determination letter:

  • sets out payments for the financial year
  • includes supporting guidance outlining how we intend local authorities to use the funding

The Secretary of State for Education makes grant determinations under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.

Published 16 December 2020
Last updated 22 December 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Holiday activities and food programme 2023' and 'Holiday activities and food programme 2023: S31 grant determination letter' to page. The guidance on the page has been updated to reflect this addition.

  2. Added clarification on when an additional HAF week can take place in 'Holiday activities and food programme 2022'.

  3. Updated with grant determination letter and information for 2022.

  4. Updated grant determination letter following the allocation of the contingency fund.

  5. Updated payment schedule and added information on COVID-19 for summer 2021 in 'Holiday activities and food programme 2021'.

  6. Added information on safeguarding requirements and a link to allergies guidance for schools.

  7. Added the 'Holiday activities and food programme 2021: S31 grant determination letter'. Updated the guidance to include updated information on funding and new sections on payments and reporting, support for local authorities, standards for holiday provision and Ofsted registration.

  8. First published.