What is HAF? Frequently asked questions

What is the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme?

HAF is a national Department for Education funded programme aimed at enabling children and young people to attend activities and experiences in the Christmas, Easter and Summer school holidays. It is all free for eligible children and young people. Coventry’s HAF programme is delivered by a wide range of organisations across the City.

Look back at the highlights from previous Coventry HAF holiday programmes. [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/holiday-activities-food/coventry-holiday-activities-food-programme/3]

Who is eligible for free HAF activities and experiences?

Children and young people need to be school-aged children (reception to year 11 inclusive) and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • In receipt of benefits-related free school meals (FSM). The eligibility for benefits-related FSM [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/benefits-1/free-school-meals] webpage has information about applications and eligibility for benefits-related FSM. 
  • Assessed (through a Children and Families assessment, undertaken by Children's Services) as a “child in need”
  • On a child protection plan
  • Looked after
  • Assessed (through an early help assessment) to be in financial hardship
  • Part of the Ukrainian Family Scheme or the Home for Ukraine programme

Children and young people in Years 12 - 13 are eligible if they are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals (FSM) and either have an EHCP or are receiving SEN support at their place of education. 

What do HAF activities and experiences include?

Every HAF-funded activity includes the following:

  • Positive activities (enriching and physical)
  • A nutritional meal/food (normally hot)
  • Nutritional education for pupils (usually within a session, if not available online)
  • Nutritional education and families of eligible pupils (including linked to an activity or online)
  • Signposting/information for families to wider services and support (in person or online)

How many activities can each eligible child attend each holiday?

Coventry HAF has a credit approach. Each eligible child has an allocation of a total of 4 credits for the Christmas and Easter school holidays and 16 credits for the Summer school holiday. Credits are dependent on each activity and where most use 1 credit, some use 2 where clubs are offering breakfast in addition to lunch. This information will be detailed in the activity brochure and web directory where bookings are made.

Do children and young people attend by themselves or do parents/carers attend as well?

Our brochure gives information about this for each of the specific activities. There are four different types of situations. These are:

  • Children/young people only
  • Children/ young people must be accompanied by a parent/carer
  • Parents/carers and under 5 year olds are welcome
  • Parents/carers and under 5 year olds are welcome (children must be accompanied by a parent/carer)

Are all the activities and experiences inclusive for all eligible children?

One of the selection criteria for our delivering providers is that their clubs are inclusive. If your child has additional needs or requirements, please contact providers directly for a conversation so they can discuss any necessary adjustments to provision. There are some activities that are aimed more specifically at children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. More information can be found on our SEND webpage [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/holiday-activities-food/coventry-holiday-activities-food-programme/3].

What are Coventry experiences?

Coventry experiences are one-off experiences such as trips, sports matches or special days. As there are a limited number of these, they are limited on our booking system to one Coventry experience per eligible child per holiday to ensure each child is able to attend one.

How do I book my child onto Coventry HAF activities and experiences?

There are just a few steps needed to book your child onto HAF activities and experiences. These are:

  1. Make sure you’ve got a Coventry City Council My Account set up
  2. Have your HAF code ready 
  3. Add your child to the booking system
  4. Decide what to book
  5. Book your child onto the activities

When you’ve done this, you’ll receive a confirmation email.  Just contact the provider if your child has any additional needs, or requirements. When it’s time for an activity, just turn up and enjoy!

What if I don’t have access to the internet or need help with my booking?

Please call 08085 834 333 and a member of our Customer Contact Team will be able to assist you with making a booking. Or, if you would like to speak to someone in person, please visit one of our local Family Hubs or libraries. For more information about opening and location please call 0800 887 0545 or visit the family hubs webpage [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/familyhubs] or libraries webpage. [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/libraries-1]

What is a HAF code and what do I do if I don’t have a HAF code (or I’ve lost it)?

A HAF code is a code that is uniquely allocated to each eligible child. Parents/carers of eligible children will have received this code at the top of the HAF letter sent to your home address. This is a code that stays the same - from Christmas 2021 onwards until a child ceases to be eligible (e.g. because they have finished year 11). If you believe your child has become eligible since our latest programme, you will automatically be sent a letter to your home with a new code. If you can not find your existing code, you can get it through one of the following ways:

Who do I contact if I have any questions about Coventry HAF?

Please email the Coventry HAF team at hafprogramme@coventry.gov.uk [mailto:hafprogramme@coventry.gov.uk] if you have any other questions, feedback, or comments regarding the programme.

Where can I find more details about the national HAF programme?

Visit the Department of Education HAF guidance [http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/holiday-activities-and-food-programme] for more details about the national HAF programme.

Coventry Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Becoming a HAF provider 2024

Applications for our Spring Fun 2024 programme have now closed.

We will update this page with more information on how to apply for our next HAF programme, Summer Fun 2024, in April. Please contact HAFprogramme@coventry.gov.uk [mailto:HAFprogramme@coventry.gov.uk] if you would like more details.

Coventry Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Look back at highlights from previous Coventry HAF holiday programmes

Summer Fun 2022

View the Summer Fun 2022 transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/57759/summer-fun-2022-coventry-haf-programme]

Spring Fun 2022

View the Spring Fun 2022 transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/57998/spring-fun-2022-coventry-haf-programme]

Festive Fun 2021

View the Festive Fun 2021 transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/42305/festive-fun-with-coventry-haf]

Summer of Fun 2021



View the Summer of Fun 2021 transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/59000/summer-fun-2021---coventry-haf-programme]

Food help for families

We know that many families face tight budgets and this can put pressure on feeding your family. Food is a big priority for Coventry HAF, that’s why each of activities has a free meal included. Below we’ve pulled together some very useful information about food help. 

Accessing food support 

Budget-friendly family recipes

Family meal plans

Using leftovers

Batch cooking

Recipe videos to watch

These budget-friendly recipe videos were produced by Groundworks for Festive Fun 2021, we hope you find them helpful.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

View the Cook at Home: Hearty Veg Soup transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/57990/cook-at-home-hearty-veg-soup]

Chilli Con Carne

View the Cook at Home: Chilli Con Carne transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/57991/cook-at-home-chilli-con-carne]

Tuna Pasta Bake

View the Cook at Home: Tuna Pasta Bake transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/57989/cook-at-home-tuna-pasta-bake]

Vegetable and chickpea curry

View the Cook at Home: Vegetable and chickpea curry transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/59036/cook-at-home-vegetable-and-chickpea-curry]

Apple and pear crumble

View the Cook at Home: Apple and Pear Crumble transcript [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/57986/cook-at-home-apple-and-pear-crumble]


View the Cook at Home: Shortbread transcript [http://coventry.gov.uk/directory-record/57985/cook-at-home-shortbread]

Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Our approach to inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

The Coventry Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme aims to have a wide range of inclusive activities, experiences and clubs that are accessible for eligible children and young people. We are developing this approach through our relationships with providers, parents/carers, children and young people. We value your feedback on our activities (see below).

Information on the inclusivity of activities

In our descriptions of each HAF activity (see: HAF interactive activity searcher), there is information about the inclusivity of each activity. Please note that we have some activities that are only shared with particular parents/carers and children as they have been specifically designed to meet particular needs.

How to make providers aware of your child(ren)’s additional needs

A key part of enabling effective support for children with additional needs is for parents/carers and providers to have conversations about the needs of your child(ren).  We promote this in the following ways:

  • You can provide information about additional needs when you add your child(ren) to the HAF booking system.
  • Through the “All About Me” approach. Where you have provided this information and booked onto an activity, HAF providers should contact you for an “All About Me” conversation based around the following questions (see below) about your child(ren). This can be done by completing a template and/or a phone conversation. If your provider has not contacted you about this, please contact them.

All About Me Questions

Below are the questions that can be discussed about children with additional needs from the perspective of the child:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your needs?
  • Do you know anyone else coming to the activity/club? (e.g. children or staff) If so, who?
  • How do you like to communicate?
  • How do you understand instructions?
  • What can make you feel upset?
  • What can help you calm down?
  • What are your favourite things to do?
  • Will anyone come with you to the club? If so, who?
  • Is there anything else we should know?

What should a parent/carer do if a HAF provider cannot meet the needs of their child(ren)?

There may be situations where a HAF provider is not able to meet the needs of individual children. Where this is the case, please email: HAFprogramme@coventry.gov.uk [mailto:HAFprogramme@coventry.gov.uk] and we will explore alternative options. If this is not possible for the current holiday programme, we will look at how we could improve this for future holidays.

We value your feedback

We are always aiming to improve the range of activities available. We welcome and value your feedback on inclusion and Special Education Needs and Disabilities and will follow up on every email. Please let us know of any positive feedback, areas of improvement, and ideas or ways in which we can make our activities more inclusive.