This year the DFE (Department for Education) has provided grant funding to Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to coordinate free holiday provision through the Holiday Activities & Food programme. This will include delivering healthy food and enriching activities to local children eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
Local authorities are asked to ensure that the offer of free holiday club provision is available for all children eligible for free school meals in our area though we would not expect all eligible children to participate. Please note if your grant is approved you will be required to provide monitoring information on your attendees once the programme has finished. Please ensure you have consent to do so as this will form part of the conditions of the Grant Agreement. We have provided a template of an attendee information form HERE.
We are seeking applications from as wide a range of organisations and providers as possible, who are either from the voluntary and community sector or are clearly established as ‘Not for Profit’ organisations such as community interest companies, Foundations, schools and grass route sports.
Applications must be led by one of the aforementioned eligible groups but proposals can be in collaboration with appropriate partners who demonstrate that they add value, such as by way of match funding, increasing capacity i.e. volunteers or offer access to resources and skills that otherwise would not be available.
The aim of the programme is to make free places available to children eligible for free school meals for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week and for six weeks a year. For the Easter holidays, a weeks’ worth of provision can be spread across a two-week period.
This Easter provision opportunities will be promoted via local schools, and schools will be given the opportunity to refer into funded projects. Grant holders must be willing to engage with schools in the referral process of eligible children and young people.
Based on this latest guidance we envisage that provision will be a mix of indoor, outdoor and digital provision. Where possible, we encourage face to face provision in line with the protective measures guidance however we acknowledge this will depend on provider capacity and preference. Please see the Guiding Notes for further information on Covid-19 guidance.
All providers who are funded through the Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) in 2021 will be required to meet the DFE framework of standards. The standards that we expect for 2021 providers are set out in the Guiding Notes.