Finding the time to take your little one to swimming lessons each week can be difficult for busy families. Trying to find a time that suits both the swim school and your work/personal commitments can be very challenging.
Then it’s a matter of packing the bag, driving there, completing the lesson, showering and drying off, and then heading off again. It can take up the whole morning!
That’s why Sydney child care centre Little Giants Auburn decided to offer swimming lessons as part of their curriculum. We spoke with Centre Manager Joanne Oakman about this popular extra-curricular activity.
‘We take the children from the centre to the pool, which is just a 10-minute drive on our excursion bus,’ explains Joanne.
At present, the lessons are offered to the three to five-year-olds at the service, and the feedback from families is terrific. ‘The parents love it,’ says Joanne.
‘It was an idea that was actually brought up and pushed by our parent committee. We actually have a waiting list to take part.’
As for the children, they enjoy the lessons too. ‘They love them!’ says Joanne. ‘They love to participate and get involved. It gets them excited to come to ‘school’ each week.’
The lessons are optional and do come at a cost to the families that take part. But freeing up a few hours of a parent’s week means that they’re so thankful to the educators for doing it.
‘Our families do receive a discount rate if booked through us, because of the partnership that we have built with the swim school,’ explains Joanne.
There are so many benefits for children learning to swim. Joanne shares that it actually helps to develop social, personal and academic skills too. Children that take part in swimming at a young age reach their personal milestones earlier than the average population, she shares.
Children that take part in swimming at a young age reach their personal milestones earlier than the average population.
Naturally, the children are ready to come back to the centre and tuck into a hot lunch after a busy morning at the pool. Joanne explains that the centre also ‘incorporates water play, exploration and safety into our classroom curriculums,’ to reinforce what the children learn in their swimming lesson.
‘Our children and families both love our swim school program,’ says Joanne.
And the best part? ‘We have the privilege as educators to watch each child’s confidence in the water grow week by week.
It is an accomplishment when a child gets rewarded with a certificate by their swim instructor to move up to the next level.’
Does your child care centre offer swimming lessons? We think it’s such a valuable addition to an already action-packed curriculum of Forest School, excursions, sports and sustainability.
You can find out more about Little Giants Auburn here, or find child care near you by typing in your suburb in the search bar at the top of the Toddle website.
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