‘Babies and Toddlers course helped me find my perfect job’

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It’s been exactly six months since the launch of Swim England’s Level 2 Teaching Swimming to Babies and Toddlers qualification.

So what better time to speak to some of the swimming teachers who have completed the course?

The practical qualification provides the knowledge, skills and confidence to plan and teach baby and toddler lessons. Aligned to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, learners are assessed working with real adults and children.

Swim teachers Amiytha Vasanthan, Grace Pickett and Neil Shah completed the course this summer with Survive & Save – a Swim England Qualifications Approved Training Centre.

Fun lessons for babies

Having previously worked as a Maths and English tutor and recently begun a degree, Amiytha wanted to widen the scope of learners she could work with.

“The most memorable part was definitely the chance to practise our teaching with the babies, toddlers and their parents who came in for the course,” recalled Amiytha, who continues to work as a teacher with Survive & Save when her studies permit.

“The first-hand experience was useful as it meant we could self-reflect to see how we could improve for the next day of teaching, and experiment with different games to make lessons interactive and fun.

“Additionally, the course tutor provided a vast range of toys that we could incorporate. This was useful as we could think about what we could use in our own clubs.”

Keeping adults engaged too

Explaining her motivation for embarking on the course, Grace added: “I wanted to be able to teach a variety of ages and thought it would be a lot of fun to be part of a baby’s first experience in the water!”

After completing her Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) and Level 2 Teaching Swimming qualifications with Survive & Save, Grace felt this qualification was an ideal addition.

She said: “The course helped me a lot as teaching an adult and child in the water is a very different experience. Trying to keep the adult engaged whilst making it fun and happy for the baby is challenging but also a lot of fun. Once the adult is comfortable with you they’re also a lot happier to sing, dance and get involved!

“I also found the course helped me with my adult-only lessons and even with parents of the standard stages. It helped us appreciate the communication between the swim teacher and the parent.

“When applying for swim teaching jobs I found a lot of centres were very interested in my qualification. It seemed a lot of centres currently haven’t hired someone with this qualification so it has helped me a lot in finding the perfect job.”

Practical and theory-based

Neil, meanwhile, swapped a career in financial services for life as a swimming teacher before adding this extra string to his bow.

“There is something intrinsically rewarding about teaching toddlers and babies to swim especially when you see them progressing and having loads of fun during the lesson,” he said.

“The course was well structured with an accompanying manual for guidance. The knowledge of the instructor – especially putting theory into practice – was invaluable as were the practical teaching sessions where mums and dads brought their babies to the pool.

“Although it was a fairly intensive few days I particularly liked the mix of practical and theory-based learning. The holds, fun games and advice I can relay to parents has really helped.”

  • Five reasons why we love the Level 2 Teaching Swimming to Babies and Toddlers qualification.
  • Thanks to Survive and Save and Sally Baldwin for their assistance with the above article.