FAQ – New swimmers: Babies to Pre-schoolers

What are the term dates?

We run rolling terms this means that we swim throughout the year and you can join us at any time. There will be some break weeks which will be confirmed in your booking.

For Lexden and Stanway they break weeks are:

  • Monday 31st of May to Sunday the 6th of June inclusive
  • Tuesday the 17th of August until Monday the 30th of August inclusive
  • Monday the 20th of December until Sunday the 2nd of January 2022 inclusive

For Frinton they are:

  • Monday 31st of May to Friday the 4th of June Inclusive
  • Saturday the 26th of June only
  • Tuesday the 17th of August until Monday the 30th of August inclusive
  • Monday the 20th of December until Sunday the 2nd of January 2022 inclusive

Gladwins Farm follow the Suffolk schools terms dates and swimming is only during term time: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-term-and-holiday-dates/#tab2

South London/Dunmow will confirm separately.

What is baby swimming?

Baby and toddler swimming introduces young swimmers to the water with an adult. Our lessons are created to make swimming fun, using exciting play activities and songs. You will learn how to hold and support your baby and stimulate his/her natural swimming reflexes in a fun and safe environment.

Can my baby start classes at any age?
We are happy to accept babies from 6 weeks old onto our courses. Before this age we can suggest useful exercises for you and your baby in the bath at home.
My baby hasn’t had all the immunisations yet – is it safe to swim?

The NHS advises that it is completely safe to take your baby swimming at any age, whether or not they have had their immunisations yet. Please see the NHS website for their advice on when to start taking your baby swimming: NHS Website

As explained above, we accept babies from six weeks onto our courses. It is a great idea to get your newborn baby swimming as soon as possible as they tend to be naturally comfortable in water when they are very young. Obviously we want you to be completely happy with our courses – so please let us know if you’d prefer to be on a waiting list first so you secure your place with us.

What should I wear to lessons?
We advise you wear suitable supportive swimwear which is comfortable for you.
What should my baby wear to lessons?
Babies must wear a double nappy system to avoid any accidents happening in the water and keep the pools nice and clean for all of us to use. This means your baby will need to wear a disposable swim nappy, such as ‘huggies little swimmer’ nappy plus a Happy nappy which looks like a pair of swimming shorts but is fitted on the tummy and legs to ensure that soil does not escape and contaminate the pool.
Will I need equipment for lessons?
For parent and child classes you will only need to bring a woggle, you can buy online from us https://miniswimming.co.uk/swim-shop/ your swimwear, babies’ nappy and swimwear and towels (for after lessons).
I can’t swim, can I still participate?
Yes, absolutely, around 10% of our swimmers cannot swim or cannot swim very well and they want their babies to not be the same. Our pools are all of a depth that you will comfortably be able to stand up. The chances are our swimming courses will improve your confidence in the water as well as your baby’s.
Will I have to put my baby underwater?
The simple answer to this is: no.

Mini Swimming lessons are designed for both you and your baby to make the most from your time in the water. We would never force anyone to do anything they were not happy doing and we understand that not all parents would like the idea of submerging their baby underwater. A cue in the form of a wet test is always carried out to make sure that babies are ready, and most importantly happy to swim underwater. Most importantly however – there is such a scope of such fantastic activities that we can do with you for baby swimming – it’s not just about babies being underwater. We focus on every element that we can teach you through our courses.

Will my partner/ another adult be able to join in with lessons?

Normally we always welcome both parents and any other family members who want to be involved but currently under the new guidelines we are unable to allow this. We hope this will be relaxed soon but for now only the parent swimming can attend. We do offer a private class called Baby’s first swim where both parents can attend. For more information go to: First Baby Swim Page

When should I arrive for lessons?
We ask swimmers not to arrive more than 7 minutes before their class time. This is so that our cleaners can get in and clean every inch of the changing rooms between swimmers. The 7 minutes should still give you plenty of time to get ready, particularly if your swimming costume is on underneath but it will mean that the cleaner can work without coming into close contact with swimmers which is best for everyone.
How long before swimming should I feed my baby?
Please avoid feeding solids at least one hour before swimming. Breast feeding can be done just before the class if needed. If your class is around their usual feeding time then we would advise a ‘snack’ a while before so that they aren’t starving. Swimming makes babies very hungry so it best that they aren’t starving.
If my baby is poorly can we still attend?
If your baby has a mild cold and is quite happy then please do come along. The water has quite an amazing decongestant ability! If however your baby is miserable or has a severe cold or a temperature then its best to not attend as it will not be a good experience for either of you. If your child has any illness that is contagious such as diarrhoea, sickness or conjunctivitis- anything that a nursery for example would send your child home with, please do not attend the class. If you or your child have and covid-19 symptoms (high temperature, persistent cough or loss of taste or smell) please do not attend.
What happens to our swimming lessons once my baby grows and isn’t a baby anymore?
At mini swimming we are more than just a baby swim school; we continue teaching babies through to toddlers and beyond. We continue our aquatic journey all the way to 11 year olds.
How do I book a space?
You can book your class for all pools except those in South London online by going to: www.miniswimming.co.uk/book-online/ you will see the full schedule for each pool and if a class has space it will say “add to basket”. The term dates are detailed on each day for each pool including any holidays.
What happens if I go on holiday or my child is poorly?
If you miss your swimming session then I am afraid this will be a missed class as your space can not be filled. We do offer 2 free classes per year should you wish to sign up for a Direct Debit. You can choose to pay monthly so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting and losing your space. It also is better for budgeting of course. Members who pay for direct debits don’t pay for 2 classes a year to cover some missed classes for sickness or holidays. Classes also work out cheaper as less administration! (You are not signed into a contract)
Can I change the time or day I swim?
As long as there is space in the class you wish to move to then yes you can move class. We ask that you look at the schedule online to see the times and days and which classes have spaces and then advise us by email of your change request.
What are the term dates?
We run rolling terms this means that we swim throughout the year and you can join us at any time. There will be some break weeks which will be confirmed in your booking.

For Lexden and Stanway they break weeks are:
Monday 31st of May to Sunday the 6th of June inclusive
Tuesday the 17th of August until Monday the 30th of August inclusive
Monday the 20th of December until Sunday the 2nd of January 2022 inclusive

For Frinton they are:
Monday 31st of May to Friday the 4th of June Inclusive
Saturday the 26th of June only
Tuesday the 17th of August until Monday the 30th of August inclusive
Monday the 20th of December until Sunday the 2nd of January 2022 inclusive

Gladwins Farm follow the Suffolk schools terms dates and swimming is only during term time: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-term-and-holiday-dates/#tab2

South London/Dunmow will confirm separately.

Do you close for school holidays?
Our pools in Colchester and Frinton run all year with the exception of 5 weeks holiday (Usually 2 weeks over Christmas, 2 weeks over the summer, and 1 week over Easter) Gladwins Farm pool closes over the school holidays. For other pools and confirmation of exact dates contact your local pool office. Dates will be confirmed on your booking.
What happens to my space after the first term?
Existing swimmers always get their spaces guaranteed in future terms. During your term you will be contacted by email and asked if you want to continue on and given the deadline for when you must pay. Spaces are offered to the waiting list only if a swimmer doesn’t wish to continue or doesn’t pay in time.

If you want to carry on but you get paid shortly after the deadline you should get in touch and we will happily extend your deadline by a few days.

Can I pay by Direct debit?
We do offer direct debit payments in our Colchester and Dunmow pools. This is an option after your first term. Once you are booked in you will get an email with details on how to set up a DD going forward.
Can the parent attending rotate or can my mum bring my son to his class?
Absolutely fine. As long as the person attending is fit and well they are very welcome. The attending parent must be an adult.
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