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All FAQs for Host Families FAQs for Parents
  • Our host families are all responsible professional families who offer a caring and supportive home from home for your child. They all have DBS (Police) checks and their homes are of a high safety standard. They look forward to welcoming your child into their home.
  • We are lucky to have a small group of regular drivers who are DBS checked. We try to allocate the same driver each time so your child will have a recognisable friendly face when they arrive. They will meet your child in the arrivals hall with your child's name displayed on a board. You will be given details of the driver and their telephone number before each journey.
    We are also able to provide an unaccompanied minor service where younger students are passed over to and collected from airline staff. This is arranged in advance when you book with the airline, so we will provide you with all the necessary details. Your child will only be released to an authorised representative carrying correct identification.
  • In a boarding school, your child will be registered with the school’s local National Health Service Doctor. The matron at school will look after your child and make any necessary arrangements. In the event of a more serious illness or injury, your child may be taken to hospital. Matron will be in contact with us to keep us informed.
    For day students we will arrange for your child to be registered with a local doctor. In the event of illness Cambridge Guardians will liaise with the host family to arrange medical care.We will contact you and keep you informed of your child's condition.
    All schools have school nurse and medical centre to care for your child on a day to day basis who your child can visit if they have any medical concerns.
  • We always try to give a choice of host family. We ask for your preferences, eg. family with children, pets, diet, then match your preferences with suitable and available families. We provide you with a full description of the families.
    All our host families are carefully selected and many have enjoyed hosting students for several years.
  • We always require full information and parental permission for any stays with people other than our host family. Students may be invited to stay with friends during holidays this is fine, but there should be an adult over the age of 25 present.
  • Yes it is advisable that your child opens a local bank account to manage personal expenses and pocket money. They will need a 'bank letter' from school. Staff in boarding houses will assist with this or we are able to help.
  • Your child will be normally be allocated a private room which is well furnished and will have a desk available for study and storage for clothes. Only when students request to share with a friend we will allocate a shared room.
  • Yes, of course, we want your child and the host family both to be happy. In the vast majority of cases students are very happy with their family so this does not happen often.
  • Day students will typically stay with their host family throughout the term, only going home for the long holidays at the end of each term.
    Our boarding students typically stay with their host family for exeat (leave-out) weekends and half term holidays.
  • The school will keep you informed of your child's progress through regular reports each term. There is also at least one parent-teacher meeting each year which we attend on your behalf, this is followed up with a written report to parents. Cambridge Guardians are committed to providing educational support and advice throughout your child's education so we regularly liaise with school staff and parents and we follow up any issues or queries. We are able to explain what school reports mean and keep you fully aware of your child's academic progress.
  • Our day students will stay with their host family every day throughout each term just going home for the longer Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays.
    Our boarding students usually stay with host families for exeat weekends and half terms. These dates differ slightly from school to school. Some students choose to stay with their host family over Easter while others may go home for half term.
  • We will place a maximum of three students in one family.
  • Yes we will need a DBS check for everyone in the house aged 16 and above. If you have registered for the update service we can check there otherwise we need to carry out our own checks. The DBS will need renewing every three years.
  • We aim to place the same student with you for each of their holidays. We really want the host family to become their home from home. Many host families and students become friends for life.
  • Ideally we like to place the student with the same host family so if you know you are frequently away at a certain time of year then we can discuss to see which student might suit you. We recognise that sometimes families are unavailable to host and we will make alternative arrangements for your student to stay elsewhere.
  • Our boarding school students could be as young as 11 years old. They could arrive to start year 7, 8, 8, 10 or sixth form. Our oldest are 18 years old by the time they leave school.
    Our day students are all 16 when they arrive and attend sixth form schools or colleges.
  • No, Heather is the student's guardian and Cambridge Guardians is the Guardianship organisation. You are the student's host family or homestay.
  • Yes, we pay in advance of your student's visit. We recognise our host family's important to our students wellbeing and reimburse you accordingly. We will discuss fees and expenses with you when we our initial meeting.
  • Yes, of course. Our host families all have the same values and provide a responsible, caring home from home for our students. However, our families are all very different, we have single parents, families with small children, families with older children and parents whose children have left home. Our families are also of many different nationalities and backgrounds.
  • Our students come from all over the world and we welcome students of every nationality. Many of our students are from China or Hong Kong but we also have regularly have students from countries as diverse as Russia, Italy, Vietnam, Malaysia, Ukraine, USA and even UK.

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