Parents FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Holiday Activities and Food Programme ?

The Holiday Activities and Food Programme is an initiative funded by the Department for Education to provide a programme of funded activities during the school holidays aimed to get children who attend to:

  • 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 a greater knowledge of health and nutrition
  • Be more engaged with school and other local services

Programmes can be led by a range of organisations. From across the public, private and community and voluntary sectors, they must offer a range of catering, sports and physical activity and enrichment activities.

Who can access the programme ?

The holiday activities and food programme is available to all children and young people who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

What's included?

Each eligible child or young person will be able to access 4 days provision per week. Each provider will offer:

  • One meal during the session
  • Enjoyable activities. These vary from provider to provider but may include creative, enriching or physical activities
  • Socialising and friendly spaces to build relationships
  • Guidance and signposting for parents and carers to support your family

How do I register ?

  • View the activity finder and check that the programme is suitable for your child's age range
  • Complete the online registration form and choose:
    • The weeks you would like your child to take part in the holiday activities and food programme, and
    • the place you would like them to go

Before booking you will need to ensure that you have a unique booking code provided by your school

Programme places are offered on a first come first served basis. Where a programme is full, you can register with alternative providers

My school hasn't sent me a code – what do I do ?

Please contact We will check your eligibility and issue your code

What if my child attends a school outside Northamptonshire, or lives outside of Northamptonshire ?

If a child is eligible for Free School Meals, and attends a Northamptonshire school, or lives within Northamptonshire, then they are eligible to sign up to the Northamptonshire Holiday Activities and Food programme.

If they don't live in, or go to school in Northamptonshire, then you need to go to the relevant local authority (council) site. The Holiday Activity and Food Programme is a nationwide initiative, which will also be offered in Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire Warwickshire

Does my child / young person have to attend?

No, the programme is voluntary, but we hope that children and young people who meet the eligibility criteria will take part. Everyone who is eligible is welcome to join the Holiday Activity and Food programme.

My child or young person attends an existing holiday provision, as I work. Can they still access the Holiday Activity and Food programme?

Yes, provided they meet the eligibility criteria, they are welcome to access the Holiday Activity and Food programme.

My existing holiday provider isn't providing free places for those eligible for Free School Meals. Can they do so?

Yes, ask your current childcare provider/summer provider to apply for funded HAF places by contacting

Register Now And Book Your Place

If you are interested in finding out more and are the parent / guardian / carer for a young person who is eligible for support, please register here.