The school holidays can put extra pressure on some families, especially those that find themselves financially struggling and/or have children who receive free school meals during term time. Due to this additional pressure, during the holidays, children may be less likely to access organised out-of-school activities and are more likely to experience social isolation and unhealthy habits in terms of nutrition and physical health.
To help support families, Fit For Sport is proud to work with a number of local authorities to offer the Holiday Activities and Food Fund (HAF) programme. Click here to see which of our venues are running the HAF programme for the upcoming holiday.
HAF is the Governments response to the above issues. It provides funding to Local Authorities and childcare providers such as Fit For Sport so that local families in need of additional support can book their children into out-of-school activities. Launching in April 2021, evidence has shown that free-funded holiday camps can positively impact children and young people.
HAF is for school-aged children from Reception – Year 11, who receive free school meals.
To check your eligibility, click here.
Local Authorities also have 15% flexible funding to provide free or subsidised holiday camp places for children who are not receiving benefit-related free school meals but who they believe could benefit from the HAF programme.
This could include:
- Children assessed by the local authority as being in need, at-risk or vulnerable
- Young carers
- Looked-after children or previously looked after children
- Children with an EHC (education, health and care) plan
- Children who have low attendance rates at school or who are at risk of exclusion
- Children living in areas of high deprivation or from low-income households who are not in receipt of free school meals
- Children in transition phases between nursery and primary school or primary and secondary school
- It is ultimately up to the Local Authority to decide who would benefit from this.
The main aims of the HAF funding are:
- To ensure children eat healthily over the school holidays
- To ensure children are active during the school holidays
- For children to take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character and wellbeing along with their wider educational attainment
- For children to be safe and not to be socially isolated
- For children to have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition
- We also aim to develop the understanding of the whole family on nutrition and food budgeting and signpost people towards other information and support via our family directory.
HAF funding is offered over Easter, the Summer Holidays and Winter. It is provided for the equivalent of 6 weeks over the academic year.
During our holiday camps, we offer children the opportunity to:
- Develop new skills
- Develop their knowledge
- Consolidate their existing knowledge and skills
- Try new things
- Have fun and socialise
At Fit For Sport, we do this through our Whole of Child Philosophy, which is underpinned by our six programming areas. Using our programming areas, we ensure that all children are given equal opportunities to learn, discover and thrive whilst having fun.
During our holiday camps, we ensure that all children meet the minimum requirement of 60 minutes of moderate-vigorous exercise per day and have the opportunity to engage in other varying levels of physical activity. This enables them to develop their movement skills, muscular fitness and bone strength.
During our daily activities, we ensure that all children are gaining education and awareness of healthy eating and the critical role that it plays in their everyday lives.