Swimming terms & conditions

Booking

Our courses run throughout the year in accordance with our published term dates which are available from us on request.

When signing up to Water Babies for the first time, details of the courses you are booked into, the dates and times during the first term and the venue will have been agreed with you in advance.

To give existing Water Babies clients priority for courses each term, we use a re-booking system. This means that, unless you inform us that you either wish to change venue, day or time, or alternatively that you wish to stop altogether, we may re-book you onto the next course during the current term.  

In order to ensure your place, we recommend that you grant us a continuous payment authority (please see the section entitled “Taking Payment”) and take part in our re-booking scheme.

Around the mid-point of each term we send you details of your course for the following term via email. This will detail the venue, dates and times of the course during the next term, the cost of the course and the date upon which re-booking will take place. If you grant us a continuous payment authority, on or after the date we have specified for re-booking you authorise us to use the card details you have logged with us to debit the money due.  If you have not granted us a continuous payment authority or have previously paid for your course by way of either cash or cheque, we will need to have received payment of the course fee for the next term from you by the date we have specified as the re-booking deadline otherwise you will not be re-booked onto the course and we will not be able to guarantee you a place.

You will receive email confirmation of your booking once your account has been debited or your payment has been received, together with a receipt of your payment. You are always welcome to phone us at the office should you be unsure of any details. Your statutory rights are not affected.

If you grant us a continuous payment authority but you do not wish to be part of our re-booking scheme, please inform the office as soon as possible.

If you do not wish to be re-booked for any new term it is vital that you inform the office by the stated re-booking deadline. You can do this by either email or post. If you have granted us a continuous payment authority and you have not contacted us by the specified deadline your place will be re-booked and the refunds policy referred to below will apply.

You will not be re-booked if: (a) your current class date, time or venue need to change for any reason, (b) if you have not granted us a continuous payment authority, or if you pay by either cash or by cheque, and your payment for the new term has not reached us by the re-booking deadline date and/or (c) you have informed us before the re-booking deadline date that you do not wish to re-book.

Changing class times and venues

As time progresses you may find your class size reducing (as parents return to work, etc.). Once a class has become too small to function properly we will need to merge it with another. We try to keep class times as similar as possible but unfortunately cannot always guarantee this. If the merger of your class with another results in a change of your class dates, times or venue, we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible but as a minimum you will be notified of this around the mid-point of each term when we send you a re-booking email.

Should you need to swap pools we’ll do our utmost to accommodate you, but unfortunately cannot guarantee it. Please note that you will need to have completed your current course before swapping over.

Taking payment

When you pay for classes with your credit/debit card, your card details are stored on a secure online payments system. By providing your card details and allowing them to be stored on a secure payment gateway operated by a third party, you grant us a continuous payment authority to enable us to debit the card when necessary, i.e. upon re-booking, purchasing photo shoot products, swim kits, baby wetsuits from us, etc.

If you do not wish for us to be able to use your card details in this way, please inform us by either telephone, email, or post.  Please note that we cannot automatically re-book you onto the course for the next term without a continuous payment authority.

Whenever your card details change, or if you wish to change your card details for whatever reason, please telephone the office.

If the course is being paid for by someone other than you, you are responsible for informing that person of our payment policies, deadlines, etc, and relaying any communication with regard to re-booking or payments of any sort.

If you wish to pay for the course by using your debit or credit card but do not wish to grant us a continuous payment authority or wish to pay by either cash or cheque (or wish to do so in the future) payment needs to be with us by the re-booking deadline date stated within the re-booking email we shall send you in order to secure your place. Please note that we do not accept payment by American Express.

Refunds and cancellations

Although the right to cancel under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 does not apply to Water Babies, when you first become a Water Babies client, you may cancel your contract with us either (a) within seven (7) days of the date you received a copy of these Terms and Conditions, or (b) prior to 14 days before your first course begins, and we will refund your money. Should you cancel within 14 days prior to the commencement date (up to 5.30pm the evening before) we will issue a refund minus a maximum £50 administration charge.

As a new Water Babies client, you may also cancel your booking at any time up to the commencement of your third class, and we will refund the unused balance of your course fees minus a maximum £50 administration charge. Thereafter, we are under no obligation to refund any part of the course fee.

If you are an existing client and do not wish to be re-booked onto a course for the next term, you must notify us before the specified re-booking date and in accordance with the 'Booking' section above. If you cancel a booking for the next term at any time after the re-booking date has passed but prior to the course commencing, we will issue a refund minus a maximum £50 administration charge. Once the course has started we are under no obligation to provide a refund if you wish to cancel following the commencement of your first class.

We are under no obligation to refund or transfer your money in the event that you are unable to attend part of or the entire course, unless otherwise specified above. We regret that we are unable to offer an alternative for missed lessons. Unfortunately, what seems like one simple request is an impractical administrative task when spread across hundreds of clients.

If a pool cannot be used in the short term, we will endeavour, where possible, to re-schedule your lesson. In this instance we are not responsible for any travel expenses incurred. In the event of our having to cancel a lesson we will credit your card or issue a cheque within five (5) working days of the end of the term. It is a Water Babies policy that you should never have to chase a refund. If a credit is applied on a card transaction, normal banking procedures are for that credit to appear in your account after three (3) working days.

Where a pool is not available on a longer-term basis (in excess of one week), on public health or other grounds outside our control (not including operational issues with the pool), then we cannot be responsible for providing any further lessons to you during that time.

If this occurs, and in the event that it is not possible to reschedule the classes, we will either refund the unused balance of your course fees or  provide a discount on a future term’s fees at our discretion.

Adverse weather

We are under no obligation to refund lessons that may be missed due to local adverse weather when the venue and environs are safe and accessible, and lessons are held. We regret that we are unable to offer automatic refunding or rescheduling of lessons in the event of adverse conditions local to you which prevent you from attending a scheduled class.

Video and photography

Whilst the family atmosphere we encourage means that parents, grandparents, and friends should feel very comfortable taking photographs or video footage, we would ask that everyone remains sensitive to the feelings of others should some families not feel comfortable with this. If someone in a class asks that there be no videos or photos taken, the teacher will inform the class and filming/photography must stop immediately and without incident.

We must also adhere to pool rules at individual venues, some of which do not permit the use of such equipment. If this is the case with your pool, we will inform you separately and ask that you respect such policy. In all instances the decision of our staff is final.

No underwater cameras or underwater recording equipment of any description may be used during a Water Babies lesson.

Where possible, at the start of each term and during badge week, we will take a picture of you and your child with other parents and children (should you wish).  We would like to be able to use these photographs for promotional and publicity purposes.  Please indicate when signing the form at the back of these Conditions whether you consent to our sharing any photograph on the internet, on social media or in any other promotional material.  These photographs will not be used by Water Babies for any other purpose. By participating in the class photograph you accept that other parents who participate may be given a copy and that Water Babies has no control over its use by you or other parents.

Water Babies continually strives to improve the teaching standard of our workforce and we, on occasion, video record a lesson being taught by a teacher. The camera is focused on the teacher and the video recording will only be seen by the teacher and their assessor. The video will not be used for anything other than for the teacher to gain feedback from their assessor. Once the teacher has qualified, the video will be securely destroyed.

Water Babies expressly forbids the right to reproduce any part of our lessons in any form (e.g. on the internet, DVDs, photographs, etc.). Anyone suspected of continually filming or photographing the lessons for any purpose of publication or for any purpose whatsoever will be asked to stop filming, delete the footage/photographs, and leave the course.

Water Babies cannot be held liable for the actions of third parties and, therefore, excludes to the fullest extent possible by law, any liability arising from a breach of this section headed 'Video and photography' by any party.

Valuables and jewellery

All property left in changing rooms or on poolside and all property (including prams) left in entrance halls or outside, is left at your own risk. Water Babies cannot accept any responsibility for the loss or damage of any personal possessions. Please remove all jewellery (except wedding rings) before entering the water.

Medical conditions

You will be asked for any existing medical conditions for either yourself, another carer who may swim in the lessons, or the baby booked into the lessons at the end of these Terms and Conditions. You agree to inform us of any changes, including pregnancy, as soon as you are aware of them. All information will be kept strictly confidential. 

Illness

Should your child or the adult taking your child into the water have, or develop, any known or suspected medical condition, please consult your doctor before swimming. You must then inform our office either via the bottom section of this form or (if at a later date) in writing via email or post. In the event that your illness is contagious and may affect other swimmers, we may share basic information about this risk with other carers. All information received is treated in confidence and with sensitivity.

Never bring your child swimming if they have any illness such as an ear infection, diarrhoea, vomiting, chicken pox, impetigo, conjunctivitis, or a bad cold. Please wait until your doctor has given the all-clear before returning to classes.

Please ensure that any sickness/diarrhoea symptoms have completely cleared for at least 48 hours before your lesson; or 14 days if a gastrointestinal bug has been diagnosed by a medical professional.

Our teachers may refuse entry to the pool if they reasonably believe that your child is not well enough to participate.

Nappies and changing your baby

Without exception, all babies/toddlers, regardless of age or whether they are potty trained, must wear our double nappy system: either reusable cotton nappy or a disposable paper swim nappy with a Happy Nappy® or Neo Nappy® on top. We reserve the right to refuse entry to any child who is not suitably attired. 

Babies wearing any other attire, including wetsuits or warmers, etc. must still wear a Happy Nappy® or Neo Nappy® and disposable paper swim nappy.

Always change your baby on the floor using a suitable changing mat. Do not use any raised areas such as benches, trolleys or tables. This is to prevent babies from rolling onto the floor from high surfaces which can easily happen and is extremely distressing for all concerned.

Please take all your used nappies away with you unless a clearly marked bin has been provided. Never leave nappies in an open bin (including those within the venue grounds).

Withdrawal of service

We may, at our own discretion, refuse a client entry to swim courses if it is felt that the client’s behaviour or the behaviour of those associated with the client is unreasonable or becomes an issue of health and safety.

Pool/poolside health and safety

No outer footwear or prams should be taken onto poolside or into changing rooms. Please use blue overshoes (if available) or go barefoot if you prefer.

Please always endeavour to shower both yourself and your child before entering the water. Removing body lotions, perfumes, etc. before swimming contributes significantly to maintaining water quality.

Whilst you are waiting for your class, please keep poolside noise down to a minimum so that all lessons can take place in a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Do not enter the pool until the current class has finished; please always wait to be invited to do so by your teacher.

You are responsible for the safe supervision of any children you bring at all times: on poolside, in the changing rooms, and on the pool premises. They should always be under the direct supervision of an adult and never be left unattended. Children running on wet surfaces can very easily slip and hurt themselves. Water Babies reserves the right to ask anyone to leave the poolside at any time. Local age restrictions for spectators may apply and you will be informed of these when booking on to classes.

Always adhere to pool rules at individual venues.

Unfortunately, we can only accommodate one adult in the pool at a time with each child, who must be either the child's parent or designated carer and over 16 years of age. However, we are happy for other members of your family, friends, or child minders to bring your child to classes. Anyone new to the class must let the teacher know at the beginning of the session, including making the teacher aware of any health issues, so they can provide the extra help and advice that will be needed.

Should a lesson already be in progress or about to start and have to be cleared on the grounds of health and safety then we are under no obligation to refund the lesson or part thereof.

Teachers

Whilst it is our policy that we endeavour to ensure you always have the same teacher, we cannot guarantee this as teachers fall ill, leave, etc. Also, due to the extremely thorough nature of our training, we may occasionally need to have a new teacher teaching your class. They are always fully trained at this point but need to teach a series of ‘live classes’ in order to complete their assessment process. Unfortunately, we cannot give advance warning when this may happen and, whilst we always try to limit it, it is a necessary part of our commitment to quality.

Exclusion of liability

Except in the case of death or personal injury arising as a result of negligence, lack of due diligence, breach of duty, or any other circumstance where liability cannot be excluded by law, your participation, or that of your spouse/partner, your child, or those in whose care you have placed your child at Water Babies swimming sessions is done so entirely at your and their own risk.

Safeguarding

Water Babies is committed to providing good child safeguarding practice for all our swimmers and we have adopted the Swim England Safeguarding Policy – Wavepower, a copy of which is held by the Water Babies office or can be viewed and downloaded from www.swimming.org.  We believe that good safeguarding and fair play is paramount for all our swimmers.

If you have a question or concern regarding child welfare, the Water Babies Welfare Officer should be informed on 01404 540 259.  Alternately, there is a dedicated helpline for anyone wishing to raise a safeguarding or welfare concern directly to the Swim England called Swimline on 0808 100 4001.

Changes to terms and conditions

From time to time we may update these terms and conditions by sending you either an updated version or notification of minor changes. You are free to not accept these changes but we would ask you to notify us in writing of your non-acceptance within 14 days of your receipt, failing which we will be entitled to treat our agreement with you as being subject to the updated version.