Five tips to help you choose the right Swim School for your child

By Lucy Rae @ 02 8217 3141

So you’ve decided to sign your kids up for swimming and water safety lessons. This is a great first step to giving your child vital experience that not only equips them with lifesaving skills, but also provides them with health benefits and a pathway to other recreational water activities. Choosing the right swim school doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Here are some tips for you to follow when you’re looking at different swim schools.

Friendly and approachable

Swim schools should have a warm, welcoming atmosphere and the staff will strive to meet your family’s needs, answer your questions and address your concerns. They should have processes in place to regularly assess children to ensure they are progressing.

Qualified staff

Swim School staff must have valid teaching qualifications appropriate for the students they are teaching. Swimming and water safety teachers must hold a current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification.

Well maintained, clean pool and facilities

Facilities should meet the industry standards of safe pool operations. Regular maintenance and cleaning programs should be adopted in accordance with health regulations. Swim Schools are required to check the water quality at regular intervals.

Appropriate skills and lesson activities

Skills and lesson activities should be appropriate for your child’s age, development, ability and should be taught in a progressive manner. Children should be challenged to learn to their individual capability, but should never be placed under stress or be forced to perform skills. Children need to repeat skills many times before a skill is learnt and can be performed automatically, particularly if the skill is new.

Pathway of learning program

The swimming program should provide a pathway of learning for gradual skill progression for each of the key life stages. For example, the Swim and Survive program provides child focused swimming and water safety education for children aged 6 months to 14 years. Once children reach the upper levels of swimming lessons, look for opportunities to complete lifesaving awards, be introduced to other aquatic sports or join a fitness squad.

Swimming and water safety lessons will not prevent your child from drowning or guarantee that your child has the skills of automated self-rescue in an emergency. You can never be too complacent. Swimming and water safety lessons will provide your child with the knowledge and skills to safely enjoy the water, however does not replace the need for constant supervision under any circumstance.

Swim and Survive is a comprehensive swimming and water safety initiative of Royal Life Saving that seeks to increase the swimming and water safety skills of all Australian children in order to prevent drowning and increase participation in safe aquatic activity. The Swim and Survive Program is run in hundreds of partner schools across the country. Click here to find a Swim and Survive Partner school near you.