Our story

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20 years ago...

Paul Thompson had a choice to make. Continue a successful (but rather boring) life as a chartered surveyor or follow his true passion. To break free from the mundane and do something he really loved.  

He wanted to teach. He had a dream of becoming an underwater diving instructor. So much so, that after a particularly mind-numbing meeting at work, he knew what he had to do. He quit his job the next day and quickly set about moving his family with wife, Jess and their baby daughter to the Caribbean to start a new life.  

Everything was going swimmingly (ahem…), until an out of season hurricane destroyed the village they were living in. Luckily no-one was hurt, but it forced them to move back to the UK.  

The idea…

Paul spent the next few years devoting his time to his daughter as a stay-at-home dad. He took her to every group and activity around as he soon realised the importance of structuring the day with fun, interesting and educational things to do. 

One of these activities was a basic swimming lesson. And it clicked. His passion for the water combined with the love for his daughter led to such an incredible experience, he knew he wanted to share it with every parent and child across the world. In 2002, Water Babies was born. Small, makeshift, huddled around a kitchen table with a phone, Paul and Jess created their lessons and started signing people up. Within a month they had 100 customers. Shortly after that, Water Babies started spreading throughout the UK.  

The future…

Water Babies is now a global phenomenon, giving that same amazing experience to over 50,000 carers and their babies every week in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada and China.   

We have become the world leader and authority in baby swimming, providing the best-trained teachers and most highly developed swim programmes for pre-school aged children. 

How we help the world around us

Our Story & Values
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Caring for our staff, our partners, our communities and the world around us is at the heart of what we do. That’s why we embrace the role that we play in contributing to a better society and making a positive difference every day.
Our Story & Values
Read more
Caring for our staff, our partners, our communities and the world around us is at the heart of what we do. That’s why we embrace the role that we play in contributing to a better society and making a positive difference every day.

Ready to start swimming?