January always marks the start of “get back to reality” season. With the holidays over, it is the season where we lay out plans for the upcoming year’s activities, trips, goals and vacations. In many cases, vacations were probably at topic of conversation around the holiday dinner table.
Spring Break is the next big vacation for many families. As such, swimming lessons always see a surge in demand after the holidays. Parents, with their eye towards a spring break trip with the kids on the beach or in the pool while they grab some much needed sunshine, realize that now is a great time to get the kids enrolled. Getting your kids water safe now, makes for a great spring break vacation.
So how does a parent choose the right swimming lesson program for their child? There are a lot of options out there. Here are a few ways to wade through the choices that parents typically consider.
The First Decision: Your Child’s Experience
The biggest decision deals with the experience you want to offer your child. Swim Schools are known for offering an experience that is calmer, more focused and higher touch than a recreation center/YMCA. A typical rec center will offer lessons that have an instructor ratio of up to 1:12 kids. Swim Schools typically stay in the 1:2 – 1:4 range. A rec center is going to offer lessons at the same time many other things are going on in the pool, while a Swim School is dedicated to only swim lessons. Finally, instructors at Swim Schools are typically career instructors rather than part time, seasonal help. This increases the skill level of the instructors and helps them connect with the kids at a deeper level.
The Second Decision: Your Time Frame
Swim Schools typically believe that the child’s skill development and retention is optimized by attending lessons on a weekly basis over an extended period of time. Rec Centers typically offer swimming lessons over a shorter, more condensed schedule of a couple of weeks.
The Third Decision: Your Budget
Recreation Centers offer a good alternative for the budget conscious consumer. Because there are more kids in a class at a Rec Center, the classes are condensed to a shorter window of time, the facilities are multi-use, and the classes are often subsidized, the pricing is typically less than what a parent will find at a Swim School. This being the case, Swim Schools typically offer competitive pricing and often seasonal promotions can be found in the market.
The Fourth Decision: If A Swim School, Which One?
Swim School brands are becoming more prolific, with most metro areas having several Schools available. With so many options, many parents choose the school that is closest to their home. While this is a rational choice, parents should make sure to consider all of their options. Swim Schools vary greatly in their approach, their management /and their value. Brands such as Aqua Tots Swim School and Goldfish Swim School market their curriculum, with their claim being that if your child’s instructor changes, their curriculum won’t. National brand SafeSplash Swim School, with the most locations of any brand in North America, markets they match the instructor to your child’s learning style, focus on instructor consistency and offer industry leading customer service. Swimtastic Swim School, a sister company to SafeSplash Swim School, markets a unique curriculum developed by an elementary school teacher and early childhood development expert as well as outstanding customer service.
Considering all of these decisions is not easy, but the bottom line is no matter what you decide, make your decision soon. Spring break is right around the corner, and getting the kids ready for the pool or beach is a great way to ensure a fun, relaxing and memorable family vacation.
Book your Spring Break prep classes at SafeSplash