Many swim centers are founded by elite swimmers who want to bring a level of expertise and acumen to their students and swim team members alike. That’s all well and good, but if you’re not offering classes at more primary levels – such as “Mommy/Daddy & Me” or toddler-focused courses – you are missing out on a notable piece of the swim center pie.
Below are some of the reasons why your swim center should offer baby swim classes in your community.
Baby swim classes are foundations of water safety
Feeling comfortable and safe in the water is imperative if you want to learn how to swim. Without these two foundations in place, children can’t relax in the water enough to remain buoyant or move their limbs in the intentional but “floppy” form necessary to swim.
Are you offering foundational classes that help your future clients (and their parents) feel safe and comfortable in the water? If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to play an integral part in future students’ water safety awareness.
Train them while they’re young
Let’s be clear here: the “them” in this phrase refers more to the parents, not the kids. Once children enter the mix, there isn’t a whole lot of time to research the “best” of anything anymore – and why would you need to if you’re happy with where you are?
Thus, your offering of a Baby Swim Class – such as a Mommy/Daddy & Me course – is a smart way to bring new parents and young families through your door. Once they’ve experienced your beautiful facility, complete with friendly, certified swim instructors and lifeguards, and convenient online registration and payment, they won’t look anywhere else when it’s time for more advanced swim lessons or to join a swim team.
Market to a new clientele
If you haven’t offered baby swim classes in the past, odds are your target audience is older kids and their families, as well as empty-nesters and senior lap swimmers. Once you open the doors to babies and their caregivers, you expand your marketing niche and will see growth elsewhere, particularly in beginning and advanced-level swim classes as those babies grow up.
Become a social hub
You know who has a lot of time on their hands – albeit busy time? Mothers, fathers, grandparents and/or nannies who stay at home with babies and toddlers. By offering swim classes for this niche, your swim center becomes a social hub – a place where children’s caregivers can go to bond with them and forge connections in new ways, as well as a place for caregivers to enjoy adult conversation and social connections.
Enjoy years of repeat business
Yes, you’ll glean years of business from satisfied parents and children who continue coming back for more. However, the thing that’s unique about infant/toddler swim classes is that there is no “level” to move up to and no change/different class times to adjust to.
Rather, the more you offer the class, the happier everyone is – and that makes for up to three or more years of repeat “Mommy/Daddy & Me” or “Paddlin’ Around” customers for the swim center.
Instructors will thank you
When you first announce your desire to offer swim classes to babies and toddlers, a certain percentage of your instructors will leap at the chance. These courses – being more about bonding, water play, getting accustomed to a cold-water environment and socialization – are less rigorous than other courses. Plus, baby-loving instructors jump at the opportunity to lead them.
Even more important, however, is that getting babies and toddlers comfortable in the water now makes pre-school and/or level-one swim classes notably easier for instructors. The more babies and toddlers learn to love the water, the less you’ll experience older students who are petrified in the water and require more time and effort to teach. This makes for happier swim instructors and smoother, more efficient classes.
Fill calendar dead zones with life, joy, and revenue
Late weekday mornings, early afternoons and early weekend mornings can be dead zones at most swim centers. But, guess what? These are all primetime windows for parents with babies and toddlers, who are up early in the morning and require care during the weekdays when everyone else is at school or work. A targeted, new addition to your swim center’s “menu” can ramp up attendance and revenue during the typical lag times.
You’re going to love seeing the line-up of strollers, parents/guardians and all those sweet little feet – they’ll bring a breath of fresh air to your work – and your business.