Teaching your baby to swim

It's never too Early....for you and your baby to take Swim Classes!

In Australia, it is essential to introduce your baby or toddler to water familiarisation and safety as soon as possible.

Austswim and the Royal Life Saving Society both recommend

  • Beginning with water familiarisation from as early as 6 months for babies.
  • Skill development and confidence for toddlers 24-42 months of age.
  • Basic aquatic skills and development for pre-schoolers aged 42-48 months.

But - how do you know if your local swim instructor or swim school, as advertised in the local paper or on the community notice board - have the right qualifications to teach your little swimmer?

Look for the AUSTSWIM Recognised Swim Schools and use the locator on www.austswim.com.au to find the one closest to you as they employ qualified AUSTSWIM Staff.

If you need to use another ensure the staff teaching your children are AUSTSWIM Qualified.

AUSTSWIM recommends teachers who hold a Teacher of Infant Aquatics Qualification for any teacher holding classes for 6 months to 4 years of age. The AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety qualification is recommended for your children aged 4 and over.

What role will you play?

As parents we are all our children's first teachers. Swimming is no exception. You should be encouraged by the Swim School to take an active interest in the lesson as well as in an ongoing education at home and play. Supervise your kids when in and around water of any kind - from a fishpond to a nappy bucket. From the outset explain (in short sentences for tiny people) where not to go without mum or dad.

What are the lessons like?

  • Babies aged up to 24 months will enjoy their Water Familiarisation lesson with mum or dad in the pool. (Class sizes should never exceed - 1 x teacher to 8 x babies and parents)
  • Toddler Programs also involve parents in the water. (Class sizes should not exceed 1 x teacher to 8 toddlers and parents)
  • Pre-school Programs - involve 1 x teacher to 5 children.

Infant and Pre-school Programs should consist of a range of activities that promote water familiarisation which includes fun, exploration, independence, social interaction with other bubs and parents, water safety education, skill acquisition and parent education.

Is an Aquatic Centre or a home-based smaller school the best choice?

According to AUSTSWIM, familiarisation, swimming and water safety lessons can be conducted at commercial and home based centres where the AUSTSWIM platypus logo is displayed. This will tell you that the teachers have the recommended qualifications work with you and your little swimmers.

For more information on Swim Safety and Swim Classes for babies and toddlers log onto www.austswim.com.au