Water Babies Ltd

Contact details

Member - Full
Educational Services
Mr Paul Thompson
Water Babies Ltd  
01404 548 348
205 High Street, Honiton, Devon, EX14 1LQ

About Water Babies Ltd

Water BabiesCompany Overview

Water Babies has an outstanding reputation as the world’s biggest, most professional baby and toddler swimming programme. We welcome over 60,000 children (and their parents/carers) into warm water at around 560 local pools every week and our sessions progressively develop children’s water skills in line with their physical, mental and emotional development phases.

We also offer world-class, once-in-a-lifetime high-resolution photography of babies and toddlers swimming underwater, and an online shop featuring delightful, practical swimming accessories.

Franchisor of the Year 2016Franchise Overview

Since Water Babies began in 2002, we’ve grown incredibly fast and currently have 57 franchises, running 64 outlets across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and China – with Germany looking set to launch this year.

We are the largest baby & toddler swim school in the world – but run through a network of family-owned businesses, each of which is strongly rooted in their own local communities.

Our success means there are very few new territories left to buy. However, from time-to-time ongoing businesses do become available.

We're now actively exploring Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar.

Water BabiesKey Information

  • Network Size: 51-100 units
  • Franchise Type: Opportunity for both management and job
  • Typical Start-up Cost: £25,000
  • Minimum Personal Investment: £5,000
  • Franchise Location: Home/Office-based
  • Market: B2C

To understand exactly what is, and what is not, included in this financial information, click here (opens in a new window).


Water BabiesOur rigorous specialist baby swimming teacher training programme, involving over 300 hours training (both in and out of the pool) will qualify you as one of the world’s best-trained baby swimming teachers, and ours are the only teachers who can obtain a nationally recognised diploma in baby swimming. 

You’ll also receive fully comprehensive training at our head office in all aspects of running your own Water Babies business covering areas such as administration, computing, tax, VAT and customer service, with ongoing training and support always available.

Daily Life of a Franchisee

As a franchisee you’ll have all the autonomy and excitement of running your own business, backed up by the business support of our head office and the mutual support of the rest of the network. There’s a real sense of camaraderie, with everyone helping each other out for the greater good.

From talking to new mums and dads on the phone, to giving talks, sorting out underwater photo shoots, marketing your classes, finding new pool space and, of course, teaching tiny newborns to bouncy toddlers, no two days at Water Babies are ever the same! 

Water Babies Ltd Case studies

  • Alan Crisford

    Water Babies Ltd: Alan Crisford

    After a lot of hard work to get the business going, Alan and his wife are reaping the rewards of their endeavours. He shares his advice for prospective franchisees and discusses how important his franchisor has been in his success.

  • Bryony Johnstone

    Water Babies Ltd: Bryony Johnstone

    I first heard about Water Babies through my sister, Jess, who founded the company with her husband Paul in Yorkshire in 2002. At that time, baby swimming was pretty much confined to the South East and they were amazed by the speed at which the business took off…

  • Lo Winchurch

    Water Babies Ltd: Lo Winchurch

    Before joining Water Babies, I was working for another large independent swim school and was also a self-employed personal trainer in some of London’s top gyms...

  • Kim Bennett

    Water Babies Ltd: Kim Bennett

    I was working as a local authority swimming instructor when I first saw an article about Water Babies in 2003. Little did I think that one phone call to the founder, Paul Thompson, would completely change my life...

  • Claire Southworth and Steve Partridge

    Water Babies Ltd: Claire Southworth and Steve Partridge

    We first got involved with Water Babies when we took our own children to classes in Bristol. Having both previously worked in social housing, we did the classic ‘post kids’ thing of deciding that we wanted a complete career change; leading, hopefully to a new kind of lifestyle.

  • Ashish Datta
    Subway UK & Ireland - Franchisee case study

    A former banking manager with Nationwide, Ashish took his career in a completely different direction - thanks to having worked in a Subway store previously!

    Read the full case study
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