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Swim nanny, business idea?

(20 Posts)
BirminghamCityCentre Sun 27-Apr-14 00:11:37

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!

contortionist Sun 27-Apr-14 22:18:07

You might want to double-check that your gym would be ok with this.

Turnedouttoes Sun 27-Apr-14 22:21:27

Why would they not just use their regular nanny? I work for a number of families who use me for a few hours a week to take the children out to the park, soft play etc. I'm not sure there's much scope for a swim only nanny.

Lagoonablue Sun 27-Apr-14 22:22:32

You would probably ly need a qualification in life saving to get insurance. And you would need insurance I a parent I would,d expect some kind of formal qualification.

BirminghamCityCentre Sun 27-Apr-14 22:46:27

I was more thinking of families who don't have a nanny but HATE dreaded swimming. Every single SAHM I know detests swimming and would leap at the chance of somebody else doing it for them….. in theory…… I guess it is a question of whether or not they would actually trust somebody else with their kid in the water and also how much they might pay.
Thanks for replies!

BirminghamCityCentre Sun 27-Apr-14 22:47:43

Oh and agree insurance is necessary. I'd go to a pool where I can stand up in water (though I am a perfectly capable swimmer) and would never let go of child so not clear on necessity of life saving, but first aid refresher would be important.

ReallyTired Sun 27-Apr-14 22:54:47

Why don't you train to become a swimming teacher? A cheaper solution that most SAHM use is to pay for swimming lessons with a proper teacher once the kid is three years old. You could afford half an hour one to one swimming lessons for the cost of employing a swim nanny. If you wanted an even cheaper option you could pay for group lessons.

There is no way I would want my child swimming with an unqualifed swimming teacher. (Even if you don't consider yourself to be a swimming teacher.)

NormHonal Sun 27-Apr-14 22:57:16

Also live in a cash-rich area with lots of SAHMs and have heard lots of moans about having to take DCs to swimming lessons (most seem to do them) but not about taking them fun-swimming. Not sure many do that - it's just lessons. This is at primary school age.

I would be concerned about in-pool safety to some extent, my DC2 is still young enough to require 1:1 attention in the pool.

But probably biggest problem for me would be the changing room bit, depending on ages of the children. If all children from same family, not so much of an issue, but if any are nudging puberty and getting body-conscious it could be an issue. Also how do you get changed in front of them? With younger children you have to be very hands-on. Ok, a nanny has to do that to change nappies etc anyway, but for a grown-up they only see to go swimming, I wouldn't be too comfortable with that as either the child or the parent, sorry.

joanofarchitrave Sun 27-Apr-14 23:00:38

I would have bitten your hand off for this tbh - but you need to do it in conjunction with the pool, I know someone who started doing lessons without clearing it with the pool and got barred.

I assume you're meaning taking 1 child or 1 family, not a whole group? Bearing in mind most pools won't let you go more than 1:2 for the under eights, I'd assume that's what you mean.

I think it's a great idea.

ReallyTired Sun 27-Apr-14 23:03:27

Why would a SAHM want a swim nanny? By defination a SAHM is time rich? The reason that many SAHMs don't do fun swimming is that its hard to keep several small children safe in the water. If you were to act as an extra pair of hands in the water to the SAHM with three or four kids then someone might be interested as a swim companion so that the family has the correct swim ratios.

I still think it would be simpler to become a swim teacher and do one to one lessons for the wealthy. Prehaps your gym could even employ you.

meditrina Sun 27-Apr-14 23:08:20

I would expect an insurer will require either a swimming coach qualification or a life-guarding one. It's not the same as trusting your DC to go off and swim with a friend and their parent, or sending your own nanny (whose insurance would be already sorted), it's employing someone specifically to supervise swimming.

You'll need proper child protection training too, as you will presumably have to supervise in the changing rooms.

I think there could be a market for this, but it would be at the weekends, not after school (people might have swimming lessons then, but unlikely to want fun swimming). The 'let me wear out your DC whilst you remember what it's like to go back to bed with the Sunday papers' approach might appeal.

Falconi Sun 27-Apr-14 23:17:17

Only if it was in my own pool with myself watching or someone I trust watching.
But than I would probably have a nanny for that.
I am no rich sahm in affluent area and hate swimming. DD started lessons at 4 when she was allowed to go in the swimming pool without a parent. Other than that she went swimming a few times with me and a few times with Dh. Only a very few times. But she got her 400m badge at the age of 6.
Play swimming is not very important imo. Lessons are.
Once she is 8 she will be allowed to go swimming with her friends, I just need to seat on the side of the pool and read a book.

BirminghamCityCentre Sun 27-Apr-14 23:41:02

I have three kids of my own so would be doing this in daytime, so def talking preschoolers and no puberty issues!! And yes one child at a time. I would maybe take my four year old (who is independent in the water) if I was taking another child of suitable age and parents were happy with for their child to have a playmate but otherwise would be one-to-one.
Vibe in changing rooms around my way is that "fun" swimming is the opposite for the adults and changing room is nothing but toil and hassle. Loads of mums pay silly money for lessons (think £14 for 30 mins group lessons) when really, its a waste before they are three..... they just need somebody to tell them what to do in the water with their child while they still need to held constantly.

MostWicked Sun 27-Apr-14 23:45:00

I think you need to consider your overheads.
You will need insurance and will probably need a swimming qualification and first aid training to get that.
You will need child protection training and a DBS disclosure.

I can see a limited market, but most people would just pay for swimming lessons.

joanofarchitrave Mon 28-Apr-14 00:23:13

If you decide to go down the swim teacher route, I know of someone who does 1:1 swimming lessons with children with SEN. She charges a high price but OMG she sounds amazing.

BirminghamCityCentre Mon 28-Apr-14 00:26:18

child protection already done for another course, so thats covered at least.... think will investigate insurance requirements tomorrow. nanny insurance seems fairly cheap but will have to check out any specifics related to taking children swimming.
i've done first aid training and will do a refresher, and agree about DBS.
thanks for all feedback.

Primrose123 Mon 28-Apr-14 00:41:22

Am I the only one one who loved taking children swimming when they were little?

BirminghamCityCentre Mon 28-Apr-14 00:56:04

Possibly primrose, yes!! I posted a similar message on my local Fb page and have had three people message me directly to sign up, with no enquiry about life guarding, first aid, insurance etc etc!! Though think it depends to an extent on local facilities. The local pool here is cold, overcrowded with rubbish changing facilities, it's enough to put most people off. Shame because I agree the time in the water can be loads of fun and I now have three kids who love the water, it's been well worth the years of chilly changing rooms!

Primrose123 Mon 28-Apr-14 12:56:30

Well I wish you luck with it then!

I loved taking mine swimming. It was a bit of a faff getting changed again afterwards, but we all enjoyed it, as they were real water babies. It also tired them out so we could all go home and have a sit down. That only ever happened after swimming, which is perhaps why I was so keen to take them!

DD, who is 16 has recently qualified as a swimming instructor, and has a well paid part time job. My other DD who is 13, has done all the badges but can't do the instructors course and get a job until she is 16. She would love to do it now.

I hope your new venture is

WowOoo Mon 28-Apr-14 13:00:40

I hate it. If I could find someone to take my kids swimming now I'd pay them. So, I think your idea has potential.
I've been doing it for years. Dh doesn't seem to mind so does most of it now , but when they were little I hated it too but still felt it was a good experience for the children.

I know a few other mums who feel this way also.

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