Christmas holiday scheme for children who receive free school meals announced

A scheme to help children who receive free school meals in Peterborough has been announced by the city council.

By Stephen Briggs
Monday, 15th November 2021, 1:23 pm
The scheme will help children across the city
The scheme will help children across the city

The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme offers fun with friends and free food for primary and secondary school children in both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The sessions will include a healthy meal, a variety of exciting activities or sports and the opportunity to socialise with other children. Any child receiving benefits-related free school meals is eligible for the programme.

Funded by the Department for Education (DfE) for the next three years, the HAF scheme enables local authorities to coordinate free holiday childcare and enriching experiences locally. The programme will be delivered by approved providers, co-ordinated by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.

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Each eligible child will be able to access up to 16 hours of free holiday childcare or enriching experiences through the school Christmas holiday period. Bookings have already opened and information about how to book with participating providers can be found at and Early Years & Childcare | Peterborough Information Network

As part of the HAF programme, eligible children will be able to access:

Fun and enriching play opportunities or new experiences that provide children with new skills and knowledge.

At least one meal a day.

Guidance on healthy eating and getting children involved in food preparation and cooking.

Support for parents, carers or other family members with guidance on how to source, prepare and cook nutritious and low-cost food.

Information and signposting to other services and support which might be helpful.

Both councils are working with local schools, voluntary and community organisations, and childcare providers to deliver the HAF programme.

Cllr Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills and the University said: “I am delighted that this excellent scheme is being continued in Peterborough in the Christmas holidays. The HAF programme complements the work we are already doing to educate children about the benefits of physical and creative activity and nutritious eating. I would urge parents to book as early as possible since places are limited.”