Exploring Swim School Franchise Ownership Amid the COVID-19 Crisis
For nearly 40 years, British Swim School has been a franchise dedicated to preventing child drownings by teaching the basics of water safety and survival. According to the CDC, drowning remains the leading cause of death among children ages 1 – 4 and the second leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 – 14 in the U.S. However, taking part in formal swimming lessons can dramatically reduce drowning rates, which spike in the warm summer months. Water safety is more important now than ever with the abrupt cancellation of learn-to-swim programs placing even more children at risk this summer!
Knowing the importance of the service that we provide, our team has developed the British Swim School (BSS) Cares Campaign in consultation with industry experts, recommendations put forth by the CDC and state and local leaders. The safety measures developed within the BSS Cares Campaign have allowed our franchise owners to begin reopening in a prudent manner while responding appropriately to the threats posed by COVID-19. The reopening protocols outlined in the BSS Cares Campaign enable our franchise owners to resume their mission-driven business in the appropriate phases of reopening.
Development of the BSS Cares Campaign
In response to COVID19, we have developed comprehensive plans and protocols to reduce transmission risk while performing the vital task of survival swimming lessons. This allows our franchise owners, their staff and customers to return to the pool in a safe and responsible manner.
Our approach is based on five pillars: cleanliness, personal responsibility, a spirit of cooperation, technology and physical distancing. Among many other safety measures, our commitment to our customers includes:
- Additional cleaning procedures in collaboration with pool partners
- Daily health check-ins with all staff, swimmers and families
- Asking children to arrive with their swimsuits on to reduce touchpoints
- Touch-free check in process with the Deck Ambassador
- Staggering class times to allow for additional cleaning and sanitization
- Limiting the equipment used in our instruction
Together, in partnership with our franchise owners, pool partners and families, we can provide a clean environment with the necessary safety precautions for families to feel comfortable returning to swim classes! You can learn more about our reopening health and safety measures on our corporate website.
Reopening of Purpose-Driven Aquatics Facilities
Many states have already begun to recognize the importance of survival swimming lessons and have reopened aquatics facilities for purpose-driven activities. As a result, f we have franchise owners who have successfully reopened with positive feedback from customers, both existing and those new to the program! Once it’s deemed safe to reopen, many families have been eager to return to swim lessons in order to avoid losing the swim skills their children had started to develop in prior lessons. Many families expressed a further interest in a “jump start” program, allowing their children to attend classes more frequently for a limited time in order to regain and build upon their existing skills ahead of summertime!
In the current landscape of COVID-19, we understand that state and local regulations may not allow swim schools to reopen all aquatics facilities right away due to capacity limits. Our pool partnership model provides the flexibility our franchise owners need to begin reopening as early as possible in those locations without capacity challenges, as our owners are able to partner with multiple pool facilities, allowing them to to welcome customers back to select locations before other swim school concepts.
Now, our owners are able to resume lessons with existing customers who are ready to get back to the pool, in addition to new customers from other nearby swim schools that must remain temporarily closed. As an added bonus, many of our pool partners (hotels, gyms, etc.) are providing greater flexibility with pool hours since their facilities have an unprecedented amount of unused pool time, allowing our franchise owners to offer additional lessons during this period of high demand.
While we respect the mandates to temporarily close non-essential businesses in order to protect the health and safety of the general public, our corporate support team is working closely with each franchise owner to help them reopen quickly once they are able to do so. Time is of the essence to ensure safety in and around the water!