First Swim is a family business and we proudly opened our first swimming centre in the heart of Twickenham in 2018, followed by our second in central Chiswick, in late 2020. We run lessons in our warm, clean pools for babies from 6 weeks to children up to 7 years old. We understand about being parents with young children and as such, we have a helpful and flexible approach to our customers. We aim to make your experience with us as easy as possible. We have brilliant teachers who are at the heart of what we do and who simply love to teach your babies and children. Our friendly front of house teams are always there to look after you as well, from your arrival right through to helping you have a post-swim relax in our cosy coffee shops. Swimming is such a vital skill for children to have and we pride ourselves on having the best classes delivered in an environment that is considerate and easy – making it an enjoyable experience for both child and parent.
We have designed our swim centres from scratch and our pools are purpose built exclusively for babies and children swimming. We limit the use of harsh chemicals using modern technologies and we can ensure our pools are always super clean as we manage and monitor them all in-house. The temperature of the water is so important for babies and we aim for a consistent 32 degrees C to keep your little one comfortable throughout their whole session. We have both male and female changing rooms fully equipped with showers, hairdryers, changing mats and playpens to make getting dried and dressed as easy and stress-free as possible.
We hand-pick our team of teachers so that they are not only excellent and qualified instructors, but they have a real affinity with the children and help bring out the best in them. Our classes have a maximum of 8 children and our teachers strive to deliver safe, fun and interactive lessons. We love being part of each child’s swimming journey, watching them grow in confidence in the water week by week. We are open seven days a week and our coffee shop is the icing on the cake – a relaxing place for you to unwind, feed or simply catch up. Whatever the reason, you’ll feel right at home!
We also know with babies that things just happen, so we offer 3 free catch up classes per term for our babies and toddler classes.
About baby swimming
There are many good reasons to teach your child to swim from an early age. It is not only a life skill that encourages water safety, it is also great for their physical health, can help boost their confidence and, above all, is fun! Swimming with your baby or child in their early years can be a lovely shared experience. The latest NHS guidelines also confirms you can introduce your baby to swimming as early as you would like, pre their first vaccinations.
At First Swim, we want to succeed in our goal of ensuring confidence in the water and safety first for the babies and toddlers. We aim to give parents the skills to teach their children to swim in a relaxed environment, giving them the confidence and allowing them to continue that enjoyment outside of the lessons.
Your child’s health and safety
We take all the safety precautions you’d expect and we teach you and your baby/toddler about pool-side and swimming safety. It’s important to note that an adult is in the water with the baby/child throughout the lesson. The exception to this is only our Kick-Start Kids (4+ years old) who are in the water with 3 other children and the teacher. We love having all our little people in our centres and we do ask that they are fully supervised throughout their visit.
The teaching plan we provide is bespoke to First Swim whilst following the STA Swim Programme. This will include your baby going under water which is entirely safe. Our teachers are fully trained as qualified life savers and we take care in how we structure our courses. We teach and practice the latest approaches and techniques recommended by our governing body, the STA (Swim Teacher Association)
Our pool is filtered using specially treated filter media (it’s a bit like ‘antibacterial sand’), constantly removing particles from the water whilst killing bacteria, and we mildly treat the water with disinfectant ensuring cleanliness, safety and clarity of the water at all times. For health and hygiene reasons, we also operate a double nappy policy at First Swim for all babies and toddlers until they are toilet trained. This helps us to maximise the provision of a clean and safe environment for everyone visiting us.
First Swim also have a code of conduct that all members must agree to when booking a course with us. This ensures that everyone visiting our centres helps to make it a safe and pleasant environment for everyone to be a part of.
Code of Practice
First Swim is proud to commit to the Baby and Toddler Swimming Teaching Safety Guidelines (PAS 520) which is published by the British Standards Institute. It sets minimum expected levels of adequate safeguarding for teaching very young children to swim.