Holiday Activities and Food Programme

19 September 2021
Scheme logo (decorative)

Christmas Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme

Bookings are open

Information for parents and carers

The HAF programme offers free holiday scheme places or family experiences to primary and secondary school aged children and young people who are eligible for free school meals due to a low income. During the Christmas holidays, eligible children and young people will be able to access up to 16 hours for free at a holiday scheme or family experience. The sessions will include a healthy meal, a variety of exciting activities, sports and the opportunity for your child to socialise with others. You must provide a unique booking reference number when you book your places – see below for details on how to obtain this.

Making a booking

Step 1 - eligibility

Your child will be able to access a free HAF 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 at primary school and normally receives Universal Infant Free School Meals, your child will not be eligible for a HAF funded place unless you also receive any of the above benefits. If you think that your child is eligible under the above criteria, but you have not yet registered for these meals, please go to to apply.

Step 2: Eligibility checking and gaining of unique booking reference number

If you have your unique booking reference number provided by us for the Summer or Easter HAF holiday programme, please skip to Step 3

If you do not have this reference number as this is your first booking or you have misplaced your number, please email us at : with the following information:

  • Your child’s full name and date of birth
  • The school your child currently attends
  • The names of all parents/carers who have parental responsibility

We will check our records and then send you a unique booking reference number to confirm your child is eligible.

Step 3: Contact holiday scheme or family experience providers

  • Download the HAF Christmas Provider Directory below and choose the holiday scheme or family experience  you would like to book places with.
  • Contact the holiday scheme direct to book a place for your child, you will required to give your unique booking reference number.
HAF Christmas Provider Directory422KBpdf
Updated 29 November 2021
Size: 422KBFile format: pdf

Children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities

Our Cambridgeshire HAF holiday schemes offer places to all eligible children including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. In order to ensure a smooth transition on your child’s first day of attendance, please ensure all relevant information about your their needs are provided in advance to the holiday scheme provider so they can work with you to ensure their individual requirements are met. Please note that spaces are not guaranteed but are subject to availability when you book.

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. Please refer to their website for details of their Camplay holiday schemes which are funded for eligible children by the HAF programme. Details of further services and support are also available. To access CSS your child will need an assessment from Disabled Children’s Social Care which identifies eligibility for these services, your social worker will refer you. More information about Community Support Service.

Summer 2021 HAF programme

Our summer HAF Programme was a huge success. Please watch our video below to see what some of the children enjoyed at the holiday playschemes they attended.

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. Further details about how we use personal data, and your rights regarding this, can be found at

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.