How does having more make-up spots to book into sound?
Great uh, more opportunities for your child to catch up on a missed swim lesson!
Plus, we’ve got the inside scoop on improving your chances of grabbing one of these valuable spots.
In our previous blog introducing make-ups, we explained what make-ups are, why we offer them (not all swim schools do) and why we limit the number of make-up lessons that can be taken in a year.
Plus, we covered the topic we get asked about the most – why make-up spots are subject to availability.
Because that’s such a regular question, in this blog, we’re reaching out to explain what you can do to increase the number of available make-up spots. Yes you have that power!
We can’t ever guarantee availability, but we can guarantee, with your help, that the number of available spots will increase.
However, before diving into that, it’s important to revisit why we can’t guarantee availability.
Why is that important?
Because understanding how make-ups become available in the first place is key to increasing their availability.
Why make-ups are subject to availability
Make-up spots are vacant spots in other classes, when a class is not fully booked, or a parent has cancelled a swimming lesson (sickness, holidays).
Therefore it’s impossible to anticipate how many vacant spots might become available that can be booked for a make-up lesson.
Plus, not all available spots will be suitable for your child.
This is because of the further limitation that a make-up lesson can only be booked into a class that is an equivalent level to your child’s regular class.
There’s no point placing any child in a class below or above their skill level because they won’t be catching up on anything.
And you won’t be getting value for money, which defeats the purpose of having make-ups in the first place, to minimise some of those out-of-pocket expenses.
Why we can’t guarantee a make-up with your child’s regular teacher
We know there’s often a special bond between student and teacher. But for the same reasons we can’t guarantee the availability of make-up classes, we can’t guarantee a make-up lesson with your child’s regular teacher.
We cannot control when your child’s regular teacher might have a spare spot in an equivalent class level. Who knows when a child might get sick, and we don’t control when parents take their kids on holidays.
Increasing the availability of make-ups
By now, you’ve probably worked out how important it is to cancel your child’s regular swimming lesson if they can’t make it, rather than just not show up.
Your cancelled lesson becomes a make-up spot available for another parent to book into.
Every week our booking system records “no-shows”, kids we expected but didn’t attend.
And we see a considerable increase in no-shows during school holidays.
If we think your child is attending their class, we can’t offer that lesson to another swimmer for a make-up lesson, and we don’t like seeing empty spots go to waste.
So, here’s the key point….
More make-up lessons will become available when parents remember and find the time to cancel their child’s learn to swim lesson, especially when holidays have been booked in advance or when a child’s sickness is not last minute.
So please, jump online and cancel your child’s swimming lesson when you know they can’t make their regular class.
Even if you’ve missed the cut-off deadline or you’ve already reached your quota, because cancelling allows another parent the chance of using your spot for a make-up.
It’s easy to cancel a lesson
We understand parenting is frantic sometimes, and things can happen last minute, so you can’t always notify us by the deadline. But we also know that some of those no-show spots could have quickly been cancelled via our online portal, especially most of the no-shows appearing in our booking system during school holidays.
Watch this 1-minute clip to see how easy it is to cancel a lesson ONLINE.
If, for some reason, you can’t get into the system online, then just contact us.
The cancellation deadline
And if you’re wondering what the deadline is, we publish that information in one spot, here on our T&Cs page. Just in case the quota and expiry dates have changed by the time you read this article.
Remember - no make-ups for no-shows
It’s often said that you don’t get something for nothing. Just like your child who must put in time and effort to learn how to swim, you must put in time and effort to have a make-up voucher added to your account from your allowed quota.
But you don’t have to do as much as your little swimmer! You just have to notify us of your child’s absence by the due deadline. If you don’t, you won’t be eligible for a make-up for that cancelled lesson.
This is an important point to repeat.
Even if you’ve already maxed out your own make-up quota, or you’ve missed the deadline, please still cancel.
Whilst you won’t be entitled to a make-up voucher, you can still help out another parent by allowing them the opportunity to book a make-up lesson into your cancelled spot.
Please don’t let a swimming lesson go to waste that another parent can use.
How to improve your chances of finding a make-up spot
So here it is, the inside scoop.
Our best tips on how to grab a make-up spot.
1. Book ONLINE!.
Our best and bigger tips!
If you wait to contact us, or we can’t attend to your query immediately, someone else has more time to book into what could have been your spot!
Watch this 1-minute clip to see how easy it is to book a make-up lesson ONLINE.
2. Be flexible. Consider booking a make-up with a different teacher. And if we have another swim school close by, we might even be able to slot you in there. Our teachers teach the same curriculum across all our swim schools.
And a different teacher can be a great thing! Kids need to learn to cope with change, a fresh set of eyes can sometimes spot something others have missed and a fresh perspective can spur things along.
There’s more about the benefits of having a different teacher in this blog. And we’ve got some great hints and tips here to help you manage your little one if they’re ever concerned about having a different swim teacher.
3. School holidays. Take advantage of when others are away and be thankful to those diligent parents who have cancelled their child’s learn to swim lessons in advance. (Oh, and please be one of those diligent parents helping someone else out whenever you’re away on holidays – thank you.)
4. Cooler months. Whilst we advocate swimming all year round, in our toasty indoor pools, with water temperatures up to 32 degrees, some parents cease swimming lessons over the cooler months. So, make-up availability can be higher during those months. And fitting in those make-up lessons over winter can be a great way to start boosting skills for summer! (Remember it takes time to learn how to swim.)
5. Keep checking ONLINE. We regularly receive lesson cancellations because family life is busy and sometimes things just don’t go according to plans. So, you never know when a slot might become available.
6. Keep checking right up to the cut-off time. Kids can get sick at the last minute, and some parents hold off cancelling until just before the deadline, hoping for a miraculous recovery. So, keep checking ONLINE.
7. Back-to-back lesson. For older kids, who usually have a longer concentration span, you might even be able to sneak in a back-to-back lesson. So, whilst your fish is in the water, it’s easy to check ONLINE to see if there’s a free spot straight after their regular class.
Please pay it forward or give it back
If you don’t cancel your child’s lesson by the deadline, you won’t be entitled to a make-up lesson, but you won’t be the only one missing out.
If you’ve already enjoyed a make-up lesson, give back to the system by cancelling your child’s swimming lesson when they can’t make it.
Even if you’ve used up all your make-up allocation.
OK, so cancelling won’t give you another make-up lesson voucher, but we know you’ll feel great about helping someone else out.
And if you’ve never booked a make-up before, pay it forward when your child can’t make their lesson. Allow someone else to use your regular spot. Because one day YOU might be the parent looking to book a make-up lesson.