How much will it cost to make my pool safe, and what do ISR Lessons Cost?

March 16, 2017 | JoAnn Barnett, ISR SMI
Tags: Water Safety, Infant Swimming Resource, ISR Lesson Costs

That’s a good question, and one our team here at Infant Swimming Resource gets rather often. There are many “ways,” or as we refer to them, “layers of defense,” to put in place when guarding against little ones reaching the water alone to consider with varying costs. When evaluating your home, and it’s proximity to your pool and other bodies of water (more on those later), we advocate envisioning yourself in the center of your home, and working outwards, making a list of the ways one could exit your home and potentially reach your backyard swimming pool; it is important to remember doggie doors and windows you, as an adult, wouldn’t consider to be an exit.

While the costs associated with these layers of defense can vary widely, if cost is a principal concern, it is important to remember that something is better than nothing, and, at minimum, a pool fence at least 48 inches tall completely encircling the pool, without the home serving as a part of the fence, and door alarms on all available exits are two vital aspects of any family aquatic safety plan. Perhaps the best news in regards to costs of keeping your little ones safe? The cost of the most effective defense against drowning is free; supervision.

In terms of the cost of the other layers of defense like pool fences, and alarms, our team here at ISR has seen a wide range of costs with costs hovering between $9 and $22 for a pack of two door alarms from GE. In terms of the cost of a removable pool fence, we generally figure between $15 and $22 per linear foot as a rough estimate.

Another question we get virtually every day, and one that is a bit more difficult to estimate is “What will ISR Lessons cost for my child(ren)?” The cost of ISR lessons varies by Instructor, and location as each ISR instructor, as an independent ISR business owner, sets his or her own price. Generally the cost of private ISR lessons in your home will be more expensive than the cost of ISR lessons you attend at a central location like a raquet club, or your local YMCA.

Knowing that cost, for many families is a determining factor in whether or not to participate in ISR Lessons, along with a network of foundations like the Live Like Jake Foundation with their own scholarship funds, ISR launched the Infant Swimming Resource Community of Caring Scholarship Fund in hopes of reaching the point where no family is turned away from the opportunity to enroll in ISR based on their ability to pay, and while we aren’t there yet, we are making strides in making the cost of ISR Lessons less of a determining factor for families around the globe.

Here’s a breakdown from one ISR Instructor based on lesson fees available in their area:

Oftentimes I’m asked why my ISR Lessons are more expensive per week than the group lessons taught at the same location where I teach. I got to thinking, and a parent of mine suggested I do the math she did when evaluating the cost of Infant Swimming Resource Lessons against the cost of other group classes, so I did, and this is what I found: the cost of the group lessons at my facility is $80 per week, for four sessions, 40 minutes each, and the lessons are structured with 4-6 children per teacher which on the low end works out to $80 for 40 minutes per each individual student per week. In context, my lessons cost $75 per week, for 5 lessons 10 minutes a day, put another way, it is $75 for 50 minutes of one-on-one specialized ISR Lessons; a cost of $2 per minute for a group class without a reliable standard of what skills the students will emerge with, or a cost of $1.50 per minute with me, a Certified Infant Swimming Resource Instructor who is obligated to ensure each student emerges with the skills he or she would need to survive if he or she reached the water alone. While it is certainly important to remain aware of costs, of anything, I was surprised to see the cost of the highly specialized, custom tailored to each student, ISR Lessons, was less per minute than a group setting class which seems to be geared towards getting children to like the water, but without the focus on skills those children would need if they found themselves in the water alone. I’m really thankful to the parent who suggested I do a full analysis of the cost of ISR Lessons vs. traditional group and mommy-and-me classes because I just assumed that for all the training I have to do through ISR, and the annual recertification, submitting video etc would have been so much more expensive than the alternative which, because of its structure just seemed so much cheaper.

The actual cost of ISR Lessons, in terms of what I charge aside, I did want to include the ISR Registration fee of $105 into the analysis, but I didn’t know how to because the two processes seemed incomparable, there was a registration fee for the other class at my facility of $40, but all it did was get the student signed up for a lesson slot, whereas the cost of the ISR Registration provides a medical evaluation by a team of nurses and pediatricians to make sure each student can participate safely, a significant amount of information about water safety, keeping families safe in each aquatic environment, not to mention the $15 gift certificate which covers the cost of a reusable swim diaper and can be used towards towels, kids rash guards etc…

It’s funny because as someone who is super cost sensitive myself, I never gave it a second thought when I parent inquiring about lessons asked about the cost of ISR Lessons because I would do the same thing, but until I really sat down and analyzed the cost of ISR Lessons versus the cost of other lessons (even without a nod to the result of said lessons) for some reason I just expected our one-on-one ISR Lessons with tangible results to be so much more expensive. When I shared the results with the same mom who suggested the ISR Lesson cost analysis in the first place she just laughed and said “and that says nothing of what we actually get for the cost of ISR Lessons, look at him swim! He’s 2!!!” It made my day.