Working in the learn to swim industry now for over 10 years I have helped 1000’s of parents and children find comfort and enjoyment signing up with swim school programs… As the owner of Breeswim, I get numerous enquires about lessons. Usually the first question asked is ‘What are the cost of your lessons?’

In this post, I give you a list of the most important questions you should ask a swim school, to better understand the program and services offered, before you take the next step and book in for a free introductory lesson!

Number 1.

What makes your program stand out from other swim schools in the area?

As mentioned in my first blog, swim school programs are not bound by any industry standard rules or regulations. Each program has its own standouts. You want to know what they pride themselves on, is it small class sizes? Is it their baby teaching program? Is it the setup and layout of the centre? Let them sell it to you – make note of all that is said and use this a reference when you sit down to decide.

Number 2.

How are the swimming classes grouped, is it by age or ability? And why?

Most swim schools provide great programs with instruction directed to the individual needs of a client. One issue to be aware of is the range of ages within a class. The narrower the age group gap, the more specific the skills will be to help kids develop through the program. At Breeswim the age groups are 4-8months, 8-12months, 12-18months, 18-2 Years and so on.

Booking into a class with a wide age difference can cause issues in the long run. A child’s development from 4 months to 4 years is extensive. As with any learning environment it is important that children are grouped homogenously. Each class and exercise should list objectives and skills that are directly suitable to the child’s developmental stage.

Number 3.

What is the maximum number of children in each class?

Surprisingly these group session numbers can range. I have heard of programs offering as little as 3 per class. I have also heard of classes offering as much as 15 clients per teacher per half hour!

As a parent you want a relationship with your child’s teacher. With a smaller class sizes, teachers have time to talk with the parents, answer questions and give guidance. The more clients per class the harder it is to receive that individual attention. Simple.

For Learn to Swim lessons, I recommend class sizes of four children. It keeps the kids moving and keeps it fun for them. For baby and toddler classes, with parent involvement, class sizes of five are fine.

Number 4.

Does an adult need to participate in the lesson? Will I need to be in the water?

When I judge the quality of a lesson a big area of consideration is always maximum practice. Children who are kept moving throughout the lesson with little time spent sitting and waiting, show greater improvement than those who don’t. It is my belief that parents should be involved with their children’s lessons up until the age of 4 years old. This allows for not only a safer learning environment but gives each child one-on-one attention throughout the lesson. Parents who are transitioned out of the water too early run the risk of prolonging the time taken to learn fundamental skills.

Number 5.

How much are your swimming lessons and what are your payment methods?

COST. Not as important as the rest, but it could be the deal breaker! The price of group swimming lesson in Australia can range from anywhere between $13 -$20. Pay attention during the first 4 weeks of lessons and ask yourself – Are the kids improving? Is there a trust and relationship with my child and the teacher? Do we have the same teacher every week? Are we singing the same old songs and doing the same routine EVERY SINGLE WEEK??

At the end of the day, swimming lessons are about as expensive as any other children’s sport. My advice is to take a step back and see if you are getting value for your investment.

Don’t accept anything but the best in teaching. You will know when you find it.

 

Extra Tips

  • Swimming all year round is a must for parents wanting the most from their experience.
  • Pool water has to be clean and heated to a comfortable temperature for an enjoyable learning environment. The standard temperature for most indoor pools is 32 degrees and outdoor pools is 28 degrees.
  • Swim teachers should bring fun and personality to lessons, and finding one who connects with your children will bring out their best. After all, we all want kids to enjoy their learn to swim experience.