Cambridgeshire Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme 2023

HAF logo


The aim of the Cambridgeshire Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme is to fund holiday scheme places to children and young people in receipt of benefit-related free school meals. The is also additional eligibility criteria, see ‘Eligibility Criteria’ on this page.

The Programme runs during the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays (but not half-terms). Eligible primary and secondary school pupils can attend. The Department for Education funds The HAF Programme.

Making a booking

The Christmas HAF Programme is running between 21 December 2023 and 2 January 2024 (excluding bank holidays). An eligibility voucher has been sent on Monday 6 November 2023 to parents who are eligible for benefit-related free school meals. the voucher was sent by email and text by

Parents should contact their school or the HAF Team for enquiries regarding the additional eligibility criteria (noted below) from 6 November 2023.

Registered holiday schemes are offering up to 16 hours of free attendance for eligible children and young people. A range of fun experiences, a healthy meal and snacks are available.

Eligibility criteria

  • Families receiving income-related free school meals (FSM)
  • Families where FSM eligible and non-eligible children live in the same household
  • Families just managing financially (subject to referral from a professional)
  • Newly arrived refugee families

For support

Contact the Cambridgeshire HAF team - email:

Your child will be able eligible for income-related free school meals (and therefore eligible for a HAF programme place) if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit - but no element of Working Tax Credit - and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)) that does not exceed £16,190
  • If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work less hours per week
  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (as from 1 April 2018)

If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and normally receives Universal Infant Free School Meals, your child will not be eligible for income-related free school meals unless you make a successful claim via the Free School Meals webpage.

Children in receipt of free school meals with additional needs or SEND

We advise all parents to book as early as possible with the holiday scheme of their choice to avoid disappointment. This is especially important for children in receipt of benefit-related free school meals who have additional needs or SEND. Booking early will enable the holiday scheme to work with parents or carers to understand and plan for any additional support needs a child may have. It is likely that providers will require at least 6-8 weeks’ notice prior to the scheme commencement.

The Community Support Service (CSS) supports children and young people who have moderate to severe learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and complex health needs. To access CSS (including CamPlay) your child will need an assessment from Disabled Children’s Social Care which identifies eligibility for these services, your social worker will refer you.

How we use personal data

The Council will match name, date of birth and school data with information held about free school meal eligible children to identify families who may be eligible to benefit from the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) Programme. You can find further details about how we use personal data, and your rights. 

Information for providers can be found on our Learn-together website.

Cambridgeshire County Council is working with local schools, voluntary and community organisations, and childcare providers to launch the HAF programme. The sessions are fully funded by the Department for Education (DfE). Visit the government website for more information on the national programme.