HAF Providers: Frequently Asked Questions

Children playing basketball

The Department for Education (DfE) is providing funding to local authorities to coordinate a programme that provides healthy hot food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children during the 2023 Spring (otherwise known as Easter), Summer and Winter (otherwise known as Christmas) Holidays.

Below are some commonly asked questions about how to become a provider, and questions about how to submit an application for a funding round.

If your quesiton is not answered here, please email us at: activitiesoxfordshire@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Minimum Requirements to be a HAF Provider

What are the minimum requirements for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme?

As a minimum, providers must ensure that for each session: it lasts for at least four hours; there is hot, nutritious food provided (see school food guide in documents); there is at least 60 minutes of physical activity; there are nutritional activities delivered; staff have complete safeguarding training and have access to your safeguarding policies on site. You can find out more on the Specification.


Is there a minimum number of days I need to provide for?

There is no minimum number of days that a provider must run for; however, each session needs to be at least 4 hours long.


How many days are eligible families entitled to?

Eligible children are entitled to 4 days over the 2-week winter and 4 days over the 2-week spring holiday and 16 days over the 6-week summer holiday. Oxfordshire County Council will not fund children who attend more days than their allocated amount. This can be made up of a mix of providers/provision, it does not have to be at one provider. Providers also cannot insist families make block bookings. Block bookings are proven to have lower attendance as families may not be able to attend every day but are forced to book.


How should we promote the HAF Programme?

There are a wide range of ways to promote the HAF Programme; successful providers often work year-round to ensure they have strong relationships with schools local to their provision. This can be achieved by offering to host assemblies, maintaining a contact with members of staff such as the pastoral support worker or the School Business Manager and promoting after school activities or camps that you might run in term time. The promotion of HAF can also be effective through the distribution of leaflets and posters to schools; we strongly advise you to not include the code on these posters, as families can receive the code from their school. Oxfordshire County Council also contacts all schools with the code and booking information. There is also a Facebook group where providers can post information and families will have access to. The link to join the Facebook Group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/oxonhaf/


Does the food have to be hot?

The meal provided must be both hot and nutritional and meet the School Food Standards; snacks can and should include fruit and vegetables. Cold packed lunches are acceptable for day trips but they must still be nutritious ie brown bread, fresh fruit snacks, no crisps.


There is some flexibility for children and young people with SEN/D resulting in sensory issues with food, however hot healthy food should still be encouraged.


What is nutritional education?

Providers must include an element of nutritional education each day aimed at improving the knowledge and awareness of healthy eating for children. These do not need to be formal learning activities but can be fun games, engaging crafts or food preparation (ie overnight oats). There are activities available on this page that providers can use in their delivery.


Do we need to be registered as a food business?

A ‘food business’ means any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any of the activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food.


Because of this, all HAF providers need to be registered as a food business with each district council you operate in. If you operate over several different district council areas, you need to register with each council you operate in.


All providers who supply food, even if it is brought in from an outside caterer, need to be registered. This is a requirement of the spec, and we will be unable to fund provision if not compliant.


You can register using this link: Food business registration - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How can we effectively signpost to families?

The HAF Team have created a signposting document with useful agencies across Oxfordshire. This is available to download on this page. Having this on site would be very beneficial. We also encourage providers to develop links with schools local to their sites.


What are monitoring visits?

Oxfordshire County Council’s  HAF Team conduct monitoring visits to all sites at each delivery round. Providers are scored out of 5 for: food quality, physical activities, enriching activities, nutritional education and signposting. If a provider does not meet a 4 or 5 mark, steps will be taken to help them to secure this. If the provider then does meet the requirement, it can impact future funding decisions and they can also be removed from the Open Framework and would need to reapply to be an approved provider on the Open Framework. The break down of these can be found on the Specification.


What data do I need to collect?

Coordinate, is the software web-based booking system used by Oxfordshire County Council, which collects all the necessary data. If you have a child attend on the day without pre-booking, the child’s details can be added onto Coordinate


What are the contact details for the Holiday Activities and Food programme and Project team?



  • If you have a query about the ProActis system, unfortunately OCC are not the administrators of the system, so cannot assist you with log in queries.

You can choose one of the following two options:

  • Contact the ProActis Supplier Support team either by email on ProContractSuppliers@proactis.com or call +44 330 005 0352.  They will be able to provide you with new login details/password.
  • Click on the option ‘Forgotten your username or password?’


If you have a query about the procurement process, please send a message only via the messaging facility on ProActis to the Project team.


What should I do if I have a safeguarding concern?

If you have a safeguarding concern, contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub  (MASH):

Office hours (8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Thursday, 8.30am – 4pm, Friday): Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 050 7666

Outside office hours: Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833 408


To determine if it is necessary to contact MASH, please refer to the Threshold of Needs (can be found in the document section or on this weblink: https://www.oscb.org.uk/practitioners-volunteers/multi-agency-guidance-tools/).


Where can I find Safeguarding Training?

We also advise that you keep up to date with Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board  (OSCB). You can access training links on this webpage: https://training.oscb.org.uk/events-list

New Providers

How do I become a provider?

To become a Holiday Activities and Food provider, you must apply to join the Open Framework. If you are successful in this application, you can then apply at each funding round (Spring, Summer and Winter holidays).  Download this flowchart to show the process.


To join the Open Framework you need to:

You will be notified if you are successful via a message from the portal to your email address


If you have any questions about the application process, please ensure you send them as a message via the portal. We will be unable to answer any emails sent to Oxfordshire County Council email addresses with queries regarding applications.


How are new providers assessed at funding rounds?

This information is available in more detail in the Open Framework ITT documentation. The applications are weighted as: 60% answer to quality questions on Open Framework application, 25% demand in the area and 15% pricing. Further details can be found in the application pack on ProActis.

Returning Providers and Procurement

What is a funding round?

A funding round is the period prior to each delivery window where providers can submit a bid for the cost to provide during the upcoming holiday.

How do I apply for funding rounds?

If your application for the Open Framework is successful, when the Funding Round opens your organisation will receive an email Invitation to Quote to submit a bid in a "mini competition" on the ProActis portal. The only way to apply for funding rounds is through a link in the message sent to the registered users on ProActis.


What needs to be included in the funding round?

There is a list included at the end of the application document detailing the documents needed for a successful application. If any of these documents fail to be submitted, your organisation may be disqualified for the funding round.


Who can I ask if I am having issues with ProActis?

Oxfordshire County Council are not the administrators of ProActis, therefore we cannot assist with issues regarding creating and accessing accounts. To receive support with these enquiries, please either:


1.       Contact the Proactis Supplier Support team either by email on ProContractSuppliers@proactis.com or call +44 330 005 0352.  They will be able to provide you with new login details/password.


2.       Click on the option ‘Forgotten your username or password?’


Why have I not received an email from ProActis about a funding round?

There are several reasons why this could be:

  • Your email account may have silenced notifications from ProActis or may place emails from it into your junk folder. Therefore, please check your junk folder and ensure your account designates ProActis as a safe sender.
  • You may have had a change of staff. We therefore strongly advise that your ProActis account has more than one user set up on it. Not having access to your ProActis account can severely hold up your application process if there is only one email address registered.


How do I add a new user?

Home screen (black ribbon on top)


Right hand side Company details summary (inside box), then Edit.


On Company Profile page, go down to box Workgroups. 


Add a new workgroup or edit the one that's on there.


On that same page, go down to the next box Contacts.  Add a new contact:

Name of team

Name of person

Email address


Can I email the HAF Team during open funding rounds?

Unfortunately, the HAF team cannot answer emails or queries about open Funding Rounds unless they are submitted as messages on the ProActis portal. This is the only way to contact the HAF team with application queries. Please ensure you only use the portal to send questions regarding the Funding Round application process.

Do I need to be OFSTED registered?

No you do not need to be OFSTED registered, HAF activities can be exempt as long as:

You do not have to register if you provide tutoring or coaching in either one or two of the following activities to children aged 3 and over:

  • school study support or homework support
  • sports
  • performing arts
  • arts and crafts
  • religious, cultural or language studies

However, you cannot look after children under 5 for more than 4 hours in any one day.

For more info:

Childminders and childcare providers: register with Ofsted - Registration exemptions - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Where do I direct families to book?

The booking link for families to book via Coordinate is HAF Activity Providers | Oxfordshire County Council (coordinate.cloud)

Families will need a code to book. Eligible families will receive this code from their school; if they think they are eligible but do not have the code, they should ask their school or can contact the HAF team at activitiesoxfordshire@oxfordshire.gov.uk to confirm eligibility.

Funding and Payment

How does funding/payment work?

Upon allocation of funds, providers begin to organise their provision for the period they have been granted funding for. The provider must use the Coordinate booking platform used by Oxfordshire County Council. The provider will be reimbursed for the number of bookings made after the delivery window. We also ask providers to keep records of attendance, but providers are paid for booked, not attended, places. 


How do I submit an invoice?

The HAF Team will raise a PO number when providers are awarded. This PO number then needs to be included on the invoice that you submit after delivery. The invoice should match the number of bookings made. Send the invoice to vimenquiries@hants.gov.uk ccing in luke.mattam@oxfordshire.gov.uk


What are admin costs?

Time spent setting up sessions, putting provision on Coordinate, contacting parents’ and creating resources and planning sessions. Price is per child.


What are childcare costs?

The cost per child for enough adults to be present to meet the appropriate ratio, and for the cost of the setting.


What are food costs?

The cost for food and catering for one child per day. Children should receive one hot meal and healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables while at the camp. This should include the cost of a caterer creating or delivering the food.

What can be specialist costs?

Specialist costs are an add on, whereby provision could still run without them but the inclusion of them will increase the quality. This could be the cost of a trip, or to ensure there are extra sporting or cooking equipment. The cost of SEN/D workers and support can also be included in these costs. As a Local Authority, we are limited on the amount of specialist costs we can approve. These are not guaranteed.

Record managed by Activities Oxfordshire

Page last reviewed: 22/09/2023

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