Summer Holiday Provision
For those that are “just about managing”, the long school holidays can be a particularly challenging time for families as they seek to make ends meet. Juggling increasing food and childcare costs, alongside reduced incomes, becomes even more demanding with the children at home.
Do those you're reaching know about support initiatives being made available by government, charities and even big business?
The government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme provides healthy food and enriching activities to children and young people, with free places generally available only for those on free school meals during some of the school holidays – including the long summer break. (Local authorities do have discretion to use up to 15% of their funding to provide free or subsidised holiday club places for children who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals but who the local authority believe could benefit from HAF provision).
This holiday provision is for school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive).
The aims of the programme are
• to enable children to eat healthily over the school holidays
• be 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
Parents and those supporting them should check their top tier local authority webpage which will usually allow them to find provision using a postcode search.
You may also wish to search for charities tackling holiday hunger in your community (TLG Make Lunch is a great example of one such initiative). These groups often look to build community and longer-term links with families, by providing fun activities alongside an opportunity to eat together.
Finally, big businesses are increasingly looking to offer support to families facing increasing costs. ASDA is the first major supermarket to offer discounted meals to children (with no minimum spend by an accompanying adult needed). For just £1 children can enjoy a hot meal throughout the summer holidays in any ASDA cafe.
This webpage lists similar offers being made available by food outlets this summer.
Take a moment to consider: Who in your church family, social action projects or local community could benefit from information like this?
Written by John Evans