Bubbles provides a fully supported introduction to the aquatic environment for babies and young children with an accompanying adult, specifically aimed at children aged 0-3 years. There are 4 levels of progression in Bubbles, with aquatic skills progressively developing throughout each level. Responsible adults are taught how to support and aid the child through games, songs and themed fun activities. A certificate is available for successfully completing each level.
The existing Splash framework has been reviewed and updated and encourages a young child's increasingly independent and guided discovery of the aquatic environment to develop water confidence, specifically aimed at children aged 3+. There are 6 levels of progression in Splash, with aquatic skills progressively developing throughout each level, with the child being increasingly independent in the water. Splash is recommended to be delivered in two ways; either starting at 3+ years old with a teacher in the water teaching up to 6 children, or for Splash 1 and 2 it can be delivered in the same format as Bubbles with a responsible adult accompanying each child. This allows for younger children who may progress more quickly through the programme due to starting their aquatic learning early and developing water confidence to not be held up in the system.
To deliver and assess the Swim Wales Bubbles and Splash Frameworks, teachers must hold a minimum of the Level 2 Swimming Teacher Certificate or equivalent and should have attended the relevant Swim Wales Bubbles or Splash Masterclass. Both masterclasses have been endorsed by CIMSPA. They are both 8 hour training experiences, including 1 hour practical. They cover industry and best practice guidance for teaching aquatics to 0-5 years; basic principles of child, play and learning development for 0-5 years; the Swim Wales Bubbles or Splash Framework and creative methods for delivery and knowledge, and skills and behaviours required to teach aquatics to 0-5 years.
National Learn to Swim Manager, Hanna Guise said, "We are delighted to launch these new programmes and training opportunities for Learn to Swim providers in Wales. One of the many positives of swimming is how inclusive it is as an activity, sport or hobby and our new Early Years framework will help provide more opportunities for babies and young children to have a positive and fun introduction to water, as well as provide opportunities for wider physical literacy development, socialisation and bonding experiences with accompanying adults. We are excited to work with our existing and new providers to help and support them in developing their Early Years opportunities."