Start swimming

Learning swimming strokes is still very difficult for children from zero to four years. But very young children can become familiar with water and learn to manage themselves. This way young children learn to have fun in the water. In almost every swimming pool, courses are offered for children from zero to four years. This way you can start (learn to) swim at an early age with Lifeguard training.

Parent and child swimming

There are different names for activities with young children:
parent and child swimming, baby and toddler swimming, guppy and puppy swimming or survival swimming with lifeguard training.

The essence lies in the idea that in a number of lessons your child learns, for example, to turn and float or climb onto the side from the water. Often the course for your child is together with you as a parent.

The National Swimming Safety Council encourages parents to take such a course with their young child. It helps to increase your child’s self-reliance in the water. You have fun with your child and your child gains confidence in the water. Inquire about the possibilities at the swimming pool nearby .

What is the ideal age to learn to swim?

The National Swimming Safety Council believes: the sooner a child is safe in the water, the better. After all, most children who drown are between the ages of zero and four. From a very young age there are opportunities in the pool to make children move more safely in and around water.

The recommended age to start swimming lessons for the A diploma is four and a half to five years. There are parents who prefer to start swimming lessons earlier, namely when their child is four or even three years old. The requirements for the A diploma are too difficult for a three-year-old child to achieve. Even a four-year-old can struggle to master the skills. In addition, a four-year-old child also starts primary school. This is a big change for a child, which costs a lot of energy. Wait six months and the child will walk through the swimming lessons more easily.

Parents who would like their child to learn to swim before the child turns four should opt for survival swimming/parent and child swimming. This way the child can gain experience in the water. Once the swimming lessons have started, the child will already feel free and familiar in the water with lifeguard training.

School swimming, or at a lesson yourself?

In about thirty percent of the municipalities in the Netherlands, children follow swimming lessons through primary school. School swimming is taught in different ways. There are municipalities that choose to offer a kind of ‘gym class in the pool’. Other municipalities opt for school swimming linked to obtaining swimming diplomas. This can differ per municipality and per primary school.

However, most parents choose to take their child to swimming lessons earlier. School swimming lessons usually don’t start until the children are about seven years old.

Young children are especially at risk near water. The sooner a child can survive in the water, the safer it is.

The national government also writes about school swimming on its website .

What can I do if I can’t afford my child’s swimming lesson?

Contact your municipality. There are often schemes available that make it possible to pay for swimming lessons. Conditions are attached to this. The regulations, their availability and conditions may differ per municipality with lifeguard training.

This contains the Leer geld Foundation, Youth Fund Sport & Culture, the Jarige Job Foundation and the National Fonds Kinderhulp joint information about their schemes and how you can submit applications for children to claim them. From autumn 2019, applications for reimbursement of swimming lessons can also be submitted directly via one application form on this website.

Now go for a swim!

Swimming is the most widely used exercise in the world. It has been used for centuries to stay healthy, fit and pain free.

Swimming is one of the most effective exercises for full-body fitness. It improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, endurance and flexibility.

Many studies have shown that swimming can help reduce or prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, stress, anxiety and depression.

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