top of page
  • Writer's pictureShayna Gavin, Splash Principal Physiotherapist

Training swim teachers to work with babies and toddlers

I had the pleasure of presenting the ASCTA Babies and Toddlers course to a group of swimming teachers at this week.

It's a fantastic course, preparing teachers to work with babies up to 3 year old toddlers, before they start to transition into pre school swim lessons.

It covers:

  • child and family centred practice

  • use of a playful approach

  • a positive environment for teaching babies and toddlers

  • child development

  • early childhood education

  • basing activities on extending childhood development

  • the benefits of swimming for babies and toddlers

  • the aquatic skills we teach, with strategies for teaching andextending a child's skills

  • an emphasis on swim safer behaviours and skills

  • teaching styles and strategies for babies and toddlers

  • teaching styles and strategies for adults. In baby and toddler sessions, a caregiver attends with each child. They are the primary person interacting with their child. So we facilitate the caregivers in observing and responding to their child's cues, and in extending their child's skills

  • ways to develop and deliver programs for your sessions

  • strategies for challenging situations

  • the aquatic industry

  • environmental effects and considerations

The ASCTA Babies and Toddlers course is delivered in a blended learning format.

Course participants will:

1. Study at your own pace in your own time

Receive a CD ROM including course content, videos and mini lectures. You go through it at your own pace, completing quizzes along the way. You save your theory certificate at the end to submit to ASCTA. It's important to complete this before coming to the one day course, as it gives you an understanding of the approaches we use with littlies, to then build upon in person. This also gives you the opportunity to bring in questions about areas you need clarified.

Here's Laurie' Lawrence's introduction to the course CD ROM, that you receive upon enrolment.

2. Attend a one day course, with theory and practical sessions.

Presenters have the opportunity to be flexible in their delivery approach and meet the needs of their audience. I tend to have the morning on land, with group discussion, looking at videos, practising with toy baby dolls, completing individual and small group activities.

I use all the different learning styles in an attempt to catch everyone in the audience! I've also developed some additional resources to assist participants.

After lunch, we jump in the pool to practise skills in teaching baby and toddler classes, and in supporting care givers who are participating in the classes with their children. We simulate some activities so we can all practise and learn through discovery. Expect to get your hair wet! We're training to be swim teachers after all!

Then it's a wrap up with a chance to tie up any loose ends with questions, and then the all important course evaluation sheets! I love to know what people found worked well for them, and what they would like done differently. I'm constantly learning just like the course participants.

3. Complete hours in a swimming school.

These include observing classes, shadowing teachers, and working under supervision until competency is reached, and you have been signed off.

4. Make it official

Send in all your documentation to ASCTA and await your well earned certificate.

5. Get in the pool and start teaching!

Most swim schools will have their own programs and procedures, and will expect new teachers to undergo training, where they might, for example, work as an assistant teacher for a time.

Would you like a babies and toddlers ASCTA course run at your swim school?

For swim schools and groups:

If you'd like me to run an ASCTA course at your facility, contact me directly! If you're outside of Melbourne, you can look up ASCTA's website for courses near you. I am also able to travel to regional Victoria and interstate on occasion.

For individuals:

If you're an individual looking to upgrade your skills, contact me directly. When we have enough participants I can run a course in Melbourne.

If you can't get to Melbourne, look up ASCTA's website for courses near you.

I am an accredited presenter for the ASCTA courses:

Swimming Australia Teacher (SAT)

Swimming Australia Teacher for Babies and Toddlers (SAT B&T)

Swimming Australia Teacher for Learners with a Disability (SAT LWD)

I love being a part of professional development for physiotherapists, allied health professionals, swim teachers, allied health assistants, teachers, carers and families ...

It's wonderful to be a part of your learning.

Helpful links:

Shayna Gavin is a physiotherapist and swimming teacher who is passionate about helping babies, children and young people learn functional skills so they can participate in life at home, school and in their community. Recognising that children do best in their own environments, she visits homes, schools, and leisure activities from football fields to ballet classes. She also has daily aquatic physiotherapy sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne. She combines principles of paediatric physiotherapy, Neuro Developmental Treatment / Bobath, motor learning, Sensory Integration and swimming teaching to address the individual needs of each child and their family. She loves providing professional development to physiotherapists, allied health and education professionals, allied health assistants and swimming teachers.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
bottom of page