As parents, we all know the importance of making sure our kids are safe around water.
As much as most of us shiver at the thought of having to hop in the water with our darlings on a weekly basis and are on count down until they can go in on their own, we all know that it pays off in dividends down the track.
kids love to have fun in the water but need to learn basic water safety skills
I, like most parents, have made the trek to the same swim school on a weekly basis for the last few years. Some weeks you see improvement and others you wonder why you have invested in this life saving activity for your kids!
We recently moved house and into a new suburb which was further away from our swim school. I felt it was time to look at a swim school that was more local to us to reduce travel time.
However, once I started looking in to others schools in the area I realised that it was actually worth the travel time to stay where we are. We couldn’t find another school in a closer proximity that matched up to our expectations.
This sparked the question of what should you look for when choosing a swim school?
Here are some suggestions on what you might wish to consider when choosing the best swim school for your child.
- Talk to friends and go by recommendations
- Visit the schools you are interested in to find out more about their facilities and to see the teachers at work. Is it a private school solely for swimming lessons or part of a leisure pool with an area designated for lessons.
- Be sure that the culture of the school fits in with the needs of your child i.e. Is there a focus on safety? Do they concentrate on swimming skills? Is it a more play-based and fun learning approach?
- How big are the classes? Classes are usually between 2-6 children per teacher depending on your child's level/ability and the size of the swim school. Smaller classes tend to enable students to build a better rapport with teachers and receive more attention during each class.
- How are the levels broken down? Some swim schools prefer to have a lot of levels that really focus on addressing specific individual skills whilst others have fewer levels that focus on addressing a larger range of skills per level, this can affect how quickly your child will progress though the program.
- Do they have a rewards system, i.e. certificates, to encourage the kids to advance through the different levels?
- Check class availability to ensure that the time fits on with your busy schedule. Are you able to secure a spot at the same time for the whole term?
- What are the payment terms? Be sure to ask if it is a contract, paid termly, weekly or pay as you go? Do they offer sibling discounts? Can you opt out during the term without losing your money? It is also worth finding out if they offer a ‘make up’ class should your kids be sick or away for whatever reason.
Finding the right swimming school for your child is a bit of a minefield, but with a little research, you'll soon find one you are happy with.