Baby Swimming Boom In The UK
Celebrities from all walks of life, pop stars, TV and radio presenters, actresses, they have all spoken in the press recently about taking their babies swimming, but how popular is this activity now in the UK?
1. 68% of all respondents said that they had experienced a significant rise over the last 2 years in the number of babies they now teach. The private swim school respondents confirmed a 75% increase.
2. 32% of all respondents stated they had only started offering baby swim sessions in the last 3 years. In the private swim school sector this figure was considerably higher at 54%.
3. 58% of swim schools confirmed they had a waiting list. This figure was a staggering 77% from the private swim school sector.
4. When asked how many babies they teach per week, 10% of respondents said that they teach more than 500 babies. The majority at 33% said that they teach between 21-50 babies per week, with 68% of respondents confirming that the average class size is between 6-10 babies.
5. The most interesting figure was the number of schools, 84% overall, who now enrol babies under 6-months into baby swim sessions, with 80% enrolling babies aged 3-months or under. 46% of private swim schools enrol babies from 0 months.
6. The cost for an average 20-30 minute session naturally varied between the private and public sector; with 92% of public swim schools charging less than £5 and 54% of private swim schools quoting £5-£10 and 27% stating £11 plus.
Roger Millward, the STA’s Chief Executive says: “As the survey proves, baby swimming from as young as 0 years, can almost certainly be defined as a mainstream activity now in the UK, with swim school respondents confirming a continued rise in demand from parents and many having long waiting lists; after all, almost all mums and dads want their child to swim, it’s one of life essentials’ skills, it’s also healthy and brilliant fun too!”
Here are the STA’s top 5 reasons why baby swimming has become so popular.
1. Swimming is fun
2. It’s also one of a few activities that you can participate in as a family. Play activities in water help with the human bonding process allowing important interaction with babies that enable them to feel secure and safe.
3. Boosts a child’s confidence. To get the best results, it is important that children are taught by trained instructors that use a recognised baby swimming programme like STARFISH. Programmes like STARFISH have been developed especially for babies, to ensure your child gains positive experiences from the water, because this will not only help them to develop physically, but emotionally, intellectually and socially too, whilst equipping them with key safety and safe holds skills in the water.
4. Keeps your baby active, fit and healthy. Research as shown that swimming can have a positive impact on baby’s sleeping and eating patterns.
5. Safety - ensuring that your child can swim, and is water safety aware is essential.
“Plus, it’s only in the last 2-3 years that baby swimming classes have become so widely available, as well as acceptable for very young babies which has enabled mothers to participate whilst still on maternity leave. This consumer demand has meant that new swim schools, particularly in the private sector, are opening all the time to cope with enquiries, thus making access to baby swim sessions even easier, and fuelling the growth,” confirmed Roger. “It is also encouraging to see from the survey, the shift in balance in the number of public leisure facilities now offering dedicated parent and baby swim sessions, in particular for babies under 6-months as at one time there was misconception that babies could not go in the water until they were at least 6-months old. It’s never too soon to introduce your baby to water!”
For further advice on baby swimming, please visit www.sta.co.uk
For further editorial information please contact:
Tel: 01746 763576 or email: s.stewart@imagine-