How To Choose A Swim School and Instructor


Here is a list of questions to ask a potential swim school about their program:

  1. How are classes organized? What is the teacher/child ratio?
  2. What are the ages and skills expected and taught at each level? Are there separate beginner classes for very young children and older children?
  3. How are children moved and monitored during class to ensure safety?
  4. What are the class rules and how are they enforced? What are the consequences for non-compliance or misbehavior?
  5. How do your instructors approach lessons if my child becomes anxious?
  6. What training and background checks are required of your instructors?
  7. How is pool contamination handled?
  8. What is the Emergency Action Plan?
  9. What accommodations are made for children with special needs?

“It is beneficial if your child has a good rapport with his/her instructor, but remember that relationships and trust evolve. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers may experience separation anxiety. Older children have been told for years not to go with strangers and to be very careful around water yet when you first come to lessons you are handing your child to a ‘stranger’ (new instructor) and asking him to hop in the water. It’s natural for a child to be a little hesitant. But, as we all know, trust is built; it cannot be forced. Give the child the time to trust the instructor and to trust himself. This is a wonderful process and carries over to other areas of their life.” – Cathy Bennett