During this time of COVID-19, we want to reassure your safety, the safety of your family and that of our Puddle Ducks team members is of the highest importance. This document will outline all the safety procedures we are employing as a company and whilst you might not need all the detail, we want to be as transparent as possible about our policies. We have done all the work, all the thinking, all the risk assessments and taken every precaution to keep you, your family and our team members safe.
Things will be slightly different at your lessons for a while and your experience might differ from another customer’s depending on where you swim but we can promise you one thing, it will be Puddle Ducks lessons you love, taught by the Puddle Ducks Teachers you love, with lots of fun and learning and nurturing the potential in each and every one of your children.
If you haven't managed to get back into the water since March 2020, your first couple of lessons back will be a reintroduction to the water, your teacher and each other and you will soon see that the lessons are as action packed and fun as ever and that your little one’s swimming journey will be back on track before you know it.
In addition to the already extremely high standards we demand of the pool operation at the pools where we swim, we have put in place the following:
Staff Training and Expertise
- In addition to the team at Duck HQ, every local Puddle Ducks team has appointed a COVID-19 Officer, ensuring each Franchise is keeping up to date with government and health department updates. A COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer will be appointed for every pool session – they will be responsible for ensuring rules are being adhered to and the cleaning rota is being kept up to date.
- Where necessary, Poolside Assistants will be present and in many more pools that previously. This is to help customers to follow procedures, answer any questions and perform cleaning duties in between lessons.
- Our Teachers themselves are involved in the risk assessments for the pools at which they teach, including when and where, within the pool premises, they will need to wear PPE and this PPE will be provided by their Puddle Ducks franchise.
- We are working with any Teachers who are vulnerable themselves or living with a vulnerable family member to ensure they are comfortable with how and when they return to work
- All our Teachers have been provided with and are required to complete online learning modules for every aspect of Returning to Teaching; from risk assessing the teaching environment, to the cleaning of equipment, to the interaction with the customers, to the temporarily revised lesson plans.
- All Emergency Operating Procedures are in place in case of a confirmed infection at one of our pools and will be immediately put into place. These include tracking and tracing all customers who were at lessons as well as informing the venue so they can contact any staff or other people who were there. This is reciprocal if, for instance, a member of a gym tests positive where they were Puddle Ducks lessons taking place.
At the Pool
- Maximum numbers in each pool has been worked out based on guidelines but the good news is we already adhered to the newly recommended number of customers per square metre. One parent or carer/child pair is considered one unit in terms of bather capacity.
- We are working closely with all the pool owners from whom we hire pools and they will all sign documentation to say their pools adhere to the revised PWTAG (The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group) guidelines and the Government guidelines on cleaning in a non-healthcare setting. This is in addition to our water testing that takes place prior to every session
- Our Puddle Ducks teams are then conducting Site Specific Pool Risk Assessments detailing all aspects of the premises, who is responsible for cleaning each area and the full customer journey from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave including entering and exiting the building, reception areas, customer flow, play areas, food and beverage areas, changing rooms and the pool room itself.
- Whilst social distancing measures are in place, we will be following the guidelines of the Government and our Governing Body (STA) and teaching from poolside. The main reasons for this are that we are unable to handle your child for now and therefore can get a much better perspective of the lesson, see how everyone is doing and give you all more space in the pool if we teach from poolside. Of course, in the case of emergency, our Teachers can and will get in the pool and do whatever is necessary to help. Full ‘Life-saving and First Aid Provision and Training during COVID-19’ training has been given and all necessary PPE provided.
- We are encouraging customers to bring their own equipment but if they forget or can’t bring their own, we will have equipment for use poolside.
- Toys and equipment, owned by Puddle Ducks and used within swimming lessons will be sanitised throughout the lesson by submerging in the pool water as the levels of chlorine are sufficient to kill the virus after 15-20 seconds.
- At the end of the day, full disinfection will take place, where the toys and equipment are cleaned, sanitised, disinfected, rinsed and dried ready for the next day.
- Following a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will follow government guidance which states we must immediately CLEAN, SANITISE, DISINFECT, RINSE & DRY.
- During a lesson, equipment must not be shared between swimmers. Our teachers will set the lesson up to reduce the risk of this happening by accident but we ask our parents/carers to make sure that children only use the equipment they have either brought with them or has been allocated to them for that lesson and that children don’t put equipment or toys in their mouths.
- It is the responsibility of our customers to clean toys and equipment that they own and bring to lessons.
- Teachers have the discretion to refuse the use of equipment that it is not clean or fit for purpose.
- Our customers will be fully informed, prior to attending any venue, of the procedures in place at that particular venue and this includes new customers and eventually those taking Courtesy Classes when we deem it safe to restart this feature.
- Customers will either be required to wash their hands with the soap provided or use hand sanitiser, depending on the policy at that particular pool, before entering and after exiting the pool room. Wipes will be made available poolside if customers need them during a lesson.
- An addendum to our Customer Terms & Conditions has been written to detail what we expect from all of our customers when attending lessons during COVID-19.
- We have also written some FAQs which cover some of the more practical questions you may have.
If you have any more questions about how we are handling things or how lessons might be different, you can contact your Local Team and we have put together some FAQs which you might find useful as a first port of call.
Puddle Ducks HQ