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frequently

asked questions

What courses do you offer?

We offer our courses in terms with a 30 minute lesson each week. Our courses for Baby and Toddler Levels start at our Bright Start Babies Level 1 and go up to Talented Toddlers Level 8 (approx. 4 years old). We offer bespoke programmes of structured lessons which adhere to the STA Swim Programme. We have a maximum of 8 babies per class.

We also offer our Kick-Start Kids programmes which are for older children from 4-7 years old. These lessons are also sold in terms with a 30 minute lesson each week but the parent is not in the pool. See more information about Kick-Start Kids on the FAQ called “Tell me about Kick-Start Kids”!

Do you offer catch-up lessons if I have to miss one?

Yes! First Swim offers a maximum of 3 free catch-up lessons per term, per booking. There is a high demand for catch-up lessons and as such, we ask for 24 hours’ notice as a minimum if you are unable to attend a lesson. The catch-up lessons are subject to availability. Although we cannot guarantee that a space will be available, if you give us as much notice as possible, we will do our very best to accommodate you.

We cannot roll catch up lessons from one term to the next, if you need catch up lessons then we do politely ask that they are taken within the term please

Unfortunately we cannot offer catch ups for Kick-Start Kids lessons

Can both parents go in the pool?

Sorry, but due to space restrictions and the nature of the course, we can only allow one adult in the pool with your child each week. Other parents, grandparents and siblings are very welcome to watch from our spectator area and make use of our lovely coffee shop.

How clean is your pool?

We have built and designed our pool from scratch and it is for the purpose of children’s swimming only. The temperature is a consistent 32 degrees which is the optimum for the comfort of babies. To ensure the health and safety of our visitors we have installed the best filtering and chemical dosing system and we limit the use of harsh chemicals. We have two sand filters, each with a sand bed of over 1 metre. We use the very latest ‘Daisy’ and Chemical Dosing Systems that check and adjusts the chemical levels in the pool every second of the day to ensure safe swimming.

Does my child have to wear the double nappy system?

Yes. For health, safety and hygiene reasons, we do have to operate a strict double nappy system for all babies and toddlers until they are fully toilet trained. This helps us to avoid mishaps and keep the environment as clean and comfortable for everyone visiting!

The double nappy system is a disposable  swim nappy worn underneath our Swim Smart Nappy (reusable swim nappy). The Swim Smart Nappy should fit snugly around the child’s waist and thighs.

Your child is welcome to wear a swimsuit, trunks or an eczema suit, however they will still have to wear the double nappy system underneath if not toilet trained

Can my baby start swimming before immunisations?

Yes- babies can start swimming as soon as you want them to! See the latest NHS guidelines here: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1035.aspx If you are at all concerned however, this is also something you should check with your GP or health visitor

Does my baby go under water?

Submersion is an element of our classes but just one of many parts to our swimming programme. Our teachers will advise and guide you in the submersion techniques and exercises and is only undertaken when both parent and child are ready and happy in the water.

Should I feed my child before swimming?

We recommend that babies should be fed about 45 mins – 1 hours beforehand if liquids and 1-2 hours before entering the water if eating solids. This allows the food to be digested and helps us keep any mishaps to a minimum and protect the cleanliness of our water! Often babies will be very hungry after a swim so you are very welcome to make use of our lovely coffee shop to relax and refresh after your lesson.

What should I do if my child is ill?

Babies frequently get colds and if it’s just the sniffles then it’s fine to bring them along. If they have a bad cough, temperature or are generally quite miserable with it, then it’s probably best to stay at home.

We politely ask that you do not attend your lesson if you and/or your child have any illness that you could pass on to others, cause contamination or that is making you or your child feel unwell. Common highly contagious illnesses include conjunctivitis, measles, chicken pox and impetigo.

Unfortunately there is strictly no admittance to the centre if you or your child are suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting. Please see our T&Cs for more information.

How do I book?

We take bookings online for our courses so you will need a valid email address to complete a booking. We can’t take bookings over the phone unfortunately, but if you have any questions, please visit us at the front desk or give us a call and we will be happy to answer them!

Is there a discount for siblings?

Yes there is! We offer 10% discount per child when you book a full course. Please enter SIBLING1 into the coupon code box during the booking process.

Do I have to be able to swim to bring my child along?

No! The water is always shallow enough to stand up in, and you never have to go underwater unless you want to.

Do you have changing facilities?

Of course! We are a purpose built bespoke baby and child swimming centre and have (hopefully) thought of most things to make your visit as easy as possible. We have male and female changing rooms with showers, changing mats, playpens along with storage for your belongings (including small valuables).

Can I leave my buggy or car seat somewhere?

No problem! We have a large internal buggy park in our reception area and a handy shelf for the car seats. We also have everything else in the coffee shop that you may need from high chairs to plastic plates to plenty of snacks (for parent as well as child) and a microwave station to warm little one’s milk or lunch!

Tell me about Kick-Start Kids?

Kick-Start Kids is for our older children from 4-7 years old. The courses are both challenging and rewarding and allow each child to develop their water confidence and swimming skills, whilst having fun.  There is a maximum of 3 or 4 children (depending on the level) learning with a single teacher

We offer 4 unique courses based on the child’s experience and age, which are split in to our ‘starters’ and ‘improvers’. The starter level is aimed at beginners or children who have had no formal lessons previously. The ‘improvers’ level is for children who are more experienced and confident in the water, but are yet to fully develop their techniques and/or swim unaided. Our pool is just over 6.5m in length so if your child can already swim 5m, we may not be  right for you!

Parents don’t need to be in the water with the child, however are required to help the children get dressed before and after the lesson and ensure they reach poolside for the teacher to collect them. We also ask that parent’s remain in our viewing area throughout the class – where of course you can sit back and relax with a treat from our coffee shop!

Please note that unfortunately we cannot offer catch ups for any Kick-Start Kids lessons