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Parent & Pre-schooler Swimming

For parents with children aged between 2 ½ and 5 years old

Parents with children of a pre-school age know all about their growing independence. Distinct little personalities emerge and these little people want to do things themselves, their way. 

It’s time to de-couple the parent and child in the water. While the parent remains close by, reliance is gradually reduced, with the aim of making the child water independent. It can be challenging for both parent and child and much of this course is about helping parents let go. The results of course amaze, as the children become adept little swimmers.

This is a super way to encourage little personalities to make strides in self-discovery. Not only will they benefit from the direct skills that learning to swim affords; water confidence, water traversal and safety skills they will also learn valuable lessons they take into the world at large such as the value of practice, routine and tenacity. A true foundation for many life skills and a fantastic preparation (and head start) for school.


Learn with Swimtastic

Learning to Swim Alone
A pre-schooler's assured movement, co-ordination, ability to communicate and to express themselves, are nurtured to develop their water based independence. Learning is child-led, meaning its the child that make the decisions to partake at their own pace and without pressure, which helps nurture a long-term positive relationship with water and swimming. And while the parent is present, there is a now an emphasis on ‘de-coupling’ so the child becomes more self-reliant and self initiating in the fun, games and challenges of each class. They are encouraged to act as an individual amongst a social group of peers. As many parents struggle with less involvement we also teach them how to let go.

Healthy Habits for Body & Mind
Swimming is a natural fun, healthy and enjoyable way for children to exercise, providing a great mental and physical workout. It engages their growing mind and body with water resistance, floating, bobbing, splashing and the pool environment contributing to a child’s sensory and cognitive development, motor skills and balance. It aids a healthy appetite, improves sleep patterns and helps their overall ability to learn in general. Providing a routine of healthy habits at this age can have fantastic long term effects.

Child-Led for Confidence & Safety
It’s a big one - a parents sense of fear for our children around water - especially at an age where they can get up to mischief so quickly. At Swimtastic we use child-led learning because we know its not just learning safety skills thats important but also how they are learned. With child led learning a child grows through self initiation and self pacing. By not forcing or pressuring them, we minimise the risk of any adverse reactions or experiences. No bad memories. No triggers for upset or panic. Rather they grow in confidence, respect and know-how for the water naturally until it becomes second nature. 

A Classroom and Playground
Our swimming pool is a combined classroom and playground unlike any other where children not only build their water knowledge, instincts and safety skills in a safe environment but also learn personal behavioural and social skills that will stand to them throughout their lives. Age appropriate games, song, dances, challenges, taking turns and responding to peers all contribute to a shared and enjoyed social experience. Our teachers continuously adapt activities to suit each child's needs and personality, listening and encouraging self initiation and participation to ensure they learn by doing. 

Always Making Progress
Unlike casual parent and child swim lessons, we go much further than repeating routines in a pool. Our programme is designed for progressive learning, in which pre-schoolers build upon their learning and abilities constantly, at their own pace, safely imitating teachers and classmates though trial and error. Progression levels are used so that class material is always suitable to all the parent and toddler couples attending. The programme also seamlessly progresses into our ‘junior swimming academy’ (ages 5 to 13 years ) so that their learning and healthy habits continue. 

The Best Teachers Right Beside You
Naturally our teachers are trained and certified to the highest standards. But more importantly, Swimtastic teachers are kind, friendly and empathic people and have lots of experience with children of all ages. They listen, they pre-empt and they understand young children’s individuality and help bring the best out of them. During class, the instructor stays in the water, controlling the fun, providing support and encouragement while getting to everyone, more and more, week on week. 

Relax and Enjoy
At each lesson we want you and your child to feel completely comfortable and safe so learning to swim is your only concern. Our pools are warm and clean and our teachers are friendly, welcoming and understanding. You’ll receive any information you need well in advance of a lesson but we’re always happy to talk, so feel free to contact our office or your class teacher. Classes are small, children are all of a similar age and things are kept at a relaxed and enjoyable pace. No one is ever pushed or made to do anything they aren’t comfortable with or ready for. This is a stress free environment where you and your child get to meet other parents and children just like you!

The Swim School Advantage
As independent swim school - we don’t book end swimming tuition with start and end ages. We’ve designed things so your child’s swim journey can flow from ‘parent and pre-schooler programme onto our junior academy (ages 5 to 13), laying foundations for olympic gold... :) Our customers are treated as ‘members’ and get priority offers on next term places. Customers have their own online members area, accessible 24/7, which centralises all your families swimming information. We work with families to try keep siblings class times similar. We’ll keep you updated and informed. We are at the other end of a phone line - happy to help with anything. In short we try to make things as seamless for you as possible so you and family can concentrate on enjoyment and learning.

What's Involved...

Classes involve play activities and song, in sequence using toys and props. They’re fun and light-hearted, but professionally designed to develop your childs' water confidence and skills. 

At the pool
Each weekly session lasts 30 minutes but please allow time in your schedule for changing before and after.
Groups are small and capped at 9 parent and child couples.
After your 30-minute session – we ask parent and child couples to vacate the pool to accommodate the next group.

What do I bring?
Swimwear for parent and child is all that is required. We provide all additional materials and toys. We provide you with a full list of how to prepare well in advance.

Course Breakdown
Each course consists of 9 weekly sessions. Sometimes the 9 weeks are broken by breaks for holidays.
We run 4 courses (4 terms) per calendar year

Follow on Courses
At the end of each term, swimmers will be offered priority places in the following term you are progressing into before bookings open to the public - These offers stay active for 2-5 days during which time you can secure your place through your user account. 

After completing a course a personalised certificate of completion for the little  swimmer can be accessed and downloaded from your swimtastic user account.

Booking Information

Swimtastic User Account 
If you are a new customer, we will ask you to set up a user account. A user account is necessary to book a course. Once created you can use it to see course attendance and progression, purchase history, certificates and more.

When booking a new course, we will collect all the details of those attending the course. 

Booking more than 1 course
It’s easy book more than one course. Just go through the process and after you add a course to your cart, you’ll be asked if you’d like to book another.

Follow on Course Offers 
To avail of a priority place offer in the next term you must book it through your user account within the specified time to secure your place.

Swimtastic’s Parent & Pre-schooler Curriculum

Delivered through play and song, the courses are centred around physical, sensory, and cognitive development, using numbers, colours, animals, sights and sounds to encourage swimming activities and movement through the water with toys.

Once safety, pool rules, pool entry and exit are happily taken care of, we begin focusing on:

  • Pushing off Walls
  • Floating and Gliding without artificial floats
  • Building their core strength
  • Interactive water games with other children
  • Developing play, sharing, and building relationships and friendships
  • Going underwater comfortably (only for children that are ready)
  • Introduction of basic swimming strokes
  • Introducing Independence from parent with swim aids, woggles and swim boards
  • Building up pace in activities
  • Achieving full confidence and excellent water ability before they go to school.

As skills build with each level of the curriculum it is important that each little student has met certain criteria so that he or she can progress to the next course level safely.

What do our customers say?

We wanted Emma to get used to the water and become confident. The outcome was so much more than I expected! Elaine her teacher, is amazing, it is super to see Emma’s confidence grow. I cannot recommend Elaine enough, she has patience, and is enthusiastic. She is just fantastic and a real credit to your team. Would highly recommend Swimtastic!

Ann Hernon Tarpey & Emma, Portlaoise

Dara has completed his beginner course. It was a great experience from day one. He felt relaxed and at ease from the start. The improvement in Dara has been huge he now loves the water and is getting very confident. Classes are small, and the kids all get to know each other over the weeks. A great experience and very professionally run.

Michelle Doyle with Dara, Portlaoise

Fantastic class to take with your children to. My son completed the first two stages and loves the water, we will definitely be returning. All the teachers were great and so friendly. It was a fun experience all round. We have been very impressed by how the classes and booking systems run and feel it is great value for money.

JJ Carey, Portlaoise

Need to know more?


All our courses have been professionally and especially designed by the Swimtastic team. Our courses have the approval of our affiliates; Swim Ireland, STA (UK) and Birthlight.

A family swim club

At Swimtastic we pride ourselves on providing swimming programmes for all ages and abilities.