Swimming is a life skill, just like riding a bike or learning to read, and State Swim is the best place for kids to learn.
I believe very strongly that all kids should know how to swim, as most parents do. Itís the one activity I insist both my daughters do regularly, and I see the cost of lessons as being an investment in their future.
State Swim Swimming Schools have been teaching Australian children to swim for more than 40 years, with schools in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. They were founded in Adelaide by former Australian national swimming coach David Urry. My youngest daughter, who is almost 3, has swimming since she was 6 months old and is absolutely thriving. My oldest daughter started State Swim at 2.5 years (after attending a different swim school before we moved house), and she is a very confident swimmer now at age 5.
My sisterís children have been enrolled in State Swim since they were little and she has always sung their praises, so I did a bit of research into other swim schools in the area and decided this was the best option for our family.
Young children start in the Waterbabies classes, accompanied by their parent or carer. These lessons include lots of age-appropriate activities, such as singing, games and toys to help kids get used to the water. This is a gradual process, and they donít put their head under the water until they are ready. Even from this young age, children receive merit certificates for completing a skill.
The top things that stood out were their online booking system and their policy on Ďmake-up lessonsí. Having the option to change our lesson date and time in just a few clicks, or cancel our lesson and make it up at another time is a must for our family, as we do spend a fair bit of time travelling, and are prone to missing lessons.
I also like the fact that children can move from Waterbabies to Kindergarten from 2.5 years, as opposed to 3 years. Plus, after 4 years of getting in the pool for lessons, I was ready to finally sit on the side and just watch proudly.
My oldest daughter is now in the Glides program, which is the first of the 8-stage Ď400m Gold Program.í In Glides, children learn to swim with their face in the water, breathing techniques and backstroke kicking.
My youngest daughter in particular has loved her lessons from the start. All of the instructors we have encountered have been supportive and thorough in their lessons. They are empathetic and understanding, and most of all, patient. Itís always reassuring to see the same faces each week, as opposed to seeing a big turnover of staff.
I have always witnessed the staff take a lot of care and patience with children who do not like the water. They don't push them into doing anything they feel uncomfortable about, and there's always lots of praise and encouragement.
State Swim isnít the cheapest swim school around, but they are one of the best, and given how much time kids in Australia spend in the water, the extra money is completely worth it, because of the quality of teaching. If you in Victoria, South or Western Australia, State Swim should be at the top of your list for when your child starts their lessons.