Throughout the school year, students of the Quinte Ballet School of Canada reside with local families. Providing a family environment to dance students can be a rewarding experience for all involved in the homestay relationship. QBSC appreciates and understands that homestays play an important role in the development of a QBSC dancer. To facilitate the finding of a suitable homestay for the students, QBSC has established a recruitment and application process to provide parents/guardians with a list from which to select a potential homestay. QBSC has also created a package of guidelines to foster a cooperative and positive relationship between the homestays, parents/guardians and students.
Application and Selection Process
Once individuals have received the homestay guidelines and are interested in furthering the process, the next step requires them to complete the application and reference forms.
2. Criminal Record Check & Vulnerable Sector Screening
A current criminal record check & vulnerable sector screening is required of all potential homestays. A check is also mandatory for any individuals residing in the homestay home who are 18 years of age and older. With a receipt, QBSC will reimburse the cost of the police records check(s).
3. In-Home Visit
Once the completed forms have been submitted, an in-home visit is scheduled. The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the individual(s) fully understands the responsibilities and expectations required of a homestay family. It will also allow the individual(s) the opportunity to ask questions and determine their own suitability as a homestay.
4. Homestay List
Homestay candidates that successfully complete the above steps will be added to a list of potential homestays, which will be available to parents/guardians upon request.
5. Final Selection
It is expected that the parents/guardians and the student(s) visit the homestay home prior to a final decision being made.
Once selection has been confirmed, the homestay agreement, either written or verbal, should be clearly established in cooperation with the homestay, parents/guardian and students prior to the student moving into a home. QBSC accepts no responsibility for an agreement made between the homestay, parents/guardians and the students.
General Responsibilities and Expectations of a Homestay Family
1. Fire Prevention
All homes must comply with the Ontario Fire Code requirements and the Belleville Property Standards Bylaws. Any homestay providing accommodations to more than three students must have a City of Belleville Municipal Rooming Licence. These residences are strictly regulated and all homestays with this situation must comply with the regulations.
Proper nutrition is very important in the development of a young dancer. Thus, it is advisable to discuss early in the homestay relationship the food likes and dislikes of the student(s), as well as any related allergies the homestay should be made aware of. Since the students dance six days a week, healthy and sufficient meals and fluids are necessary to fuel their bodies.
Sufficient supervision of dance students is required for evening and weekend hours. Out of courtesy, please provide ample notice where possible for your absence from the home in order to facilitate alternate arrangements for adult supervision and care of dance students. An adult is considered 21 years of age or older for the purpose of providing responsible supervision. Examples of an alternate care provider would be another homestay family, a friend of the student’s family, or the student’s parent/guardian.
It is recommended that homestays check with their individual insurance companies regarding extra liability insurance for both their home and automobile.
Transportation of the students is a major responsibility for the homestays. Homestays are required to ensure that students have reliable transportation to their academic classes in the morning and following their dance classes in the evening. The last class and/or rehearsal ends at approximately 6:30pm and usually applies to the senior students. However, the class schedule tends to vary by day and by the student’s level. Saturday classes are part of the curriculum. During performance and exam time, additional classes and rehearsals are often scheduled on the weekends.
The following are various situations that require transportation from the billet home. If for some reason the homestay is unable to provide transportation in these situations, an insured driver known to the student(s) or alternate means of transportation as agreed upon by the parent/guardian must be arranged by the homestay:
- Transportation to a medical clinic or QBSC’s Doctor if the student(s) residing in the home is ill.
- Transportation to physiotherapy appointments.
- Following out of town performances and bus trips, students are to be picked up at QBSC. QBSC provides the students and/or homestays with an estimated time of arrival.
- Transportation for occasional trips to the mall, movies, School dances, etc.; transportation to and from the train station for weekend excursions home.
6. Monthly Fee
The monthly fee that a homestay charges is an arrangement made between the homestays and the parents/guardians. Fees and method of payment should be discussed during the selection meeting between the parents/guardians and the potential homestay. Fees and method of payment should then be agreed upon once selection of a homestay has been confirmed.
7. Notice of Withdrawal
Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, things may not work out in the billeting relationship. It should be made clear from the very beginning as part of the homestay agreement the amount of notice required by either party to dissolve the relationship.
Suggested Topics of Discussion for Parents/Guardians:
In order to assist the parents/guardians in selecting a homestay, it is expected that they visit the homes of prospective homestays and meet with all members of the homestay family living in the residence. Although the topics were discussed with QBSC during the application process, it is advised that these points be re-addressed as they pertain to your individual situation and needs. The support of parents/guardians of these issues is crucial to a successful homestay relationship.
- If my son/daughter goes home for the weekend or for scheduled holidays, will you provide transportation to/from the train/bus station?
- Would you be willing to drive to social excursions such as the mall, movies, school dances, etc.?
- Physiotherapy appointments are often scheduled during the day: will you provide the necessary transportation to and from the clinic?
- If my child is sick, can he/she stay home? If so, will there be someone home to take care of him/her? (applies specifically to younger students)?
- If, in your absence, would you provide the appropriate supervision of my child?
- Can we rely on you to contact us if problems arise in your home or at the academic school and/or QBSC)?
Other important issues for discussion:
- Curfews and acceptable behaviour of the student(s) residing in the homestay home (i.e., clear and consistent house rules)
- Monthly fee; method of payment; amount of withdrawal notice
- Language and/or culture, church and religion, if necessary
- Telephone use; long distance calls; time limits, etc.
- Household chores (for eg., helping with dishes, keeping their bedrooms clean, laundry)
- Special dietary needs; medical conditions, etc.