Swim nanny, business idea?

(17 Posts)
BirminghamCityCentre Sun 27-Apr-14 00:12:52

I used to hate taking my kids swimming but after five years of it, I'm kind of a pro, and take three kids twice a week all in (relatively) good humour. But so many parents hate the swimming faff, others struggle to fit in in around work, or can't take twins without help etc.
I want to be able to work a couple of hours a day to cover cost of preschool for youngest child, so had my swimming nanny brainwave.
Seeking opinions please: do you think parents would be interested in paying somebody to collect their child from home/nursery/preschool/whatevs, take them swimming (accompanied in pool, not for a lesson with a teacher) for a twenty minute/half hour session and then deliver them back again? Thinking mainly about having a good play and doing the kind of things you do in swimming lessons but not necessarily having a lesson. I live in a relatively affluent area - think cash rich time poor parents round here!
How much would you think is a reasonable charge for this kind of service, bearing in mind it amounts to about an hour of childcare once travel and changing etc is factored in? I'm a gym member of a warm pool with good facilities, quiet during the day - ideal for younger kids and cost of the swim would be included. Thanks in advance for any opinions!

BirminghamCityCentre Sun 27-Apr-14 00:13:38

oops sorry for posting twice…. rookie error!

PolyesterBride Sun 27-Apr-14 00:17:24

This sounds a bit strange to me. I wouldn't want a stranger taking my child swimming. Perhaps a childminder or nanny that they knew but not someone who just did that. I'm afraid I wouldn't use this type of service.

MadonnaKebab Sun 27-Apr-14 00:19:43

If you had a basic lifesaving and swim teaching certificate I think you would be much more successful than without
You could then market your service as bespoke 1on 1 lessons as well as door-to-door service, I think you could charge a much higher rate
Maybe look into courses ?

3boys3dogshelp Sun 27-Apr-14 00:29:23

Sorry but I can't think of any reason I would use this. If the child is at childcare that has already been paid for by the parent and they nursery/childminder probably wouldn't want you messing the routine up by removing the child for an hour. If they're at home surely a parent would take them?' Esp if the child is young enough to be home during the day.

wickedwitchNE Sun 27-Apr-14 00:35:24

Honestly this is too strange an idea for me. I would not want a stranger taking my dd swimming just for essentially play time. Regular nanny/childminder perhaps as they would know each other. Surely the point of taking your children swimming is to spend fun time with them? Or to teach them to swim, in which case I agree with MadonnaKebab, you should look into lessons - if not technical swimming then perhaps water confidence courses for younger children.
On a practical note would your health club allow this? You'd essentially be using their premises to run your own business?
Just a thought though if others disagree and you go ahead with it - maybe target gym users so you can fit it in with their sessions, they could have convenient child care nearby while they work out.

specialmagiclady Sun 27-Apr-14 00:39:21

I would absolutely love someon rlse deal with the ghastliness if the swimming run. I hate it.

However, your idea is fraught with difficulties, not least because of the child protection issues. As follows:

1. Gym pools very rarely have lifeguards, so you would absolutely need to have basic lifesaving skills. A swimming teacher qualification might help. You should almost certainly be insured. The STA (swimming teachers association)should be able to help with all these.

2. You are potentially going to be looking after these children as they undress. I think at very least you would need to have an enhanced CRB check and also should complete some kind of child protection training. I am a swimming teacher and my training specifies that I should NEVER get into a car alone with a child, largely to protect myself from potential accusations of abuse. Worth looking into.

3. If you are marketing yourself as a nanny, you should have some tranng in child care, I feel. You may be able to do 3 kids to swimming because you have nice biddable children who understand about boundaries. Do you have experience with dealing With children who are less obliging. (for example my DS1 who was undiagnosed ASD for years, which means he has real problems with transitions and noisy places - taking him swimming is v stressful all round but I would never have disclosed his condition to someone who was looking after him, simoly because I didn't know he had it.)

I am definitely someon who would use your service if a) you had some or all of the above in place, and b) you could find a price that covered your costs c) I was made of money, which I understand your potential clients might be (in which case they would probably have "normal" nannies.

AvoidingEasterDIY Sun 27-Apr-14 01:03:32

I am sure you will find some Mums who would like to do this - I know plenty who loathe the faff of taking their kids swimming.

If you could do an afterschool pick up, swim & snack I think you could easily book everynight out! But as you have your own children that might not be what you are looking for.

You could try putting yourself on childcare.co.uk as SwimNanny or something and see how it goes if you don't have friends/friends of friends to offer your service to first.

If you are just taking them swimming as a nanny, the local pool don't even need telling that's what you are doing. It's not as if you are running lessons in there for all and sundry.

Good luck smile

NatashaBee Sun 27-Apr-14 01:28:28

I live abroad, but I'd like this idea. I really want DS to learn to swim, but hate the idea of getting into a swimsuit. I would want to pay you for the swim time only though, I'd want to get DS changed myself.

specialmagiclady Sun 27-Apr-14 08:13:18

Realise that I have appeared to pour cold water on your ideas but if you are going to do this, you need to protect yourself in case the worst happened. Good luck!

BirminghamCityCentre Sun 27-Apr-14 10:08:32

Thank you all and specialmagiclady your practical advice is appreciated. Actually quite encouraging because I already have child protection training (I'm a trained breastfeeding peer supporter and had to do the council's standard one day training as part of my course). Also have experience albeit some time ago of working with more challenging children - I used to volunteer for Mencap, helping supervise a children's group with a range of problems from straightforward learning difficulties to severe autism.
Having done a variety of swim lessons with my children, my personal opinion is that they don 't really start learning to swim until they are maybe three - before that water confidence is the most important thing and you can encourage kicking , reaching out, swimming back to the side if you fall in etc without much specialist training. Also you never let you go of them, not sure what scenario would require life saving in a pool where I can touch the bottom everywhere but I can see some parents might find it reassuring.... Perhaps updating first aid training (which I have) would be more relevant? Anyway thanks again for all views. I can see it might not appeal to everyone, and some flexibility would be required eg offering just going in pool instead of travel & changing etc.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 27-Apr-14 10:26:03

not sure if your gym membership would include use of the pool as part of a business, worth checking out

MadonnaKebab Sun 27-Apr-14 16:03:48

It's not so much that lifesaving would ever be required
It's more of a marker that you would be hyper-aware, taking safety very seriously etc to allow parents to relax when their child is in your care

specialmagiclady Tue 29-Apr-14 14:08:44

Sounds like you are in a good position then! The STA have a safety course for swimming teachers who will be teaching in a pool with no lifeguards - can't remember what it is called, that should do the trick. Or a first aid certificate withs specific Aquatic element would be good.

May I suggest that you start with the Muslim community?? I teach some lovely Islamic children who have managed to make it all the way to 3 without going in the pool because their mums can't go in with them. They have so much fear and no movement literacy in the water (can't go from horizontal to vertical, turn themselves around etc).

makeminea6x Tue 29-Apr-14 14:13:05

I think I would be more likely to pay you to come swimming with me and my 2 children, because they're too little for me to take by myself andwe don't have time at the weekends. That would take away CP issues for me. I might be mad though.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 29-Apr-14 14:18:19

I could see it working if you accompany a parent and their DCs to make going feasible with the ratios.

Also swim lessons.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 11-May-14 07:02:26

Agree with makeminea6x and MrsMargot.

If you were CRB checked I'd be keen for you to help get one of them dressed afterwards too as that always ends in tears!

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