New eLearning module for parents and caregivers of under fives

New eLearning module for parents and caregivers of under fives

Concerted efforts in education for parents and young children, together with legislation around pool fences and barriers have significantly reduced drowning in children aged under five-years. However, under-fives still comprise 6% of preventable drowning fatalities and 14% of hospitalisations between 2018- 2022. Drowning Prevention Auckland is committed to preventing future tragedies by making water safety awareness and education accessible for everyone.

The good news is we know that children are fast and keen learners – in fact, evidence shows that the ‘quickest’ age to develop your water competence is six years of age, provided they have had appropriate experiences to develop confidence and awareness.

Informed by robust, international research, DPA has released another Early Childhood eLearning module: Young Children Developing Water Competence. This free course can be done at home and is focused on parents, or caregivers building water confidence with their preschool tamariki.

Water competency education for children under five begins at home. As a parent or caregiver, you are your child’s first teacher, and you know your child better than anyone. We encourage you to make the most of everyday opportunities – like bath time and outdoor play – to develop water safety awareness in fun and meaningful ways.

What if I can’t access a pool or swimming lessons?

We know that sometimes accessing a pool is difficult because of the entry cost or cost of swimming lessons, cold weather, or you’re too far away from your nearest pool. With our new eLearning module, you can gain valuable and practical information at home at a time that suits you.

Made with parents and caregivers in mind, this new module covers three areas: “Bath and shower”, “Garden and backyard”, and “Swimming Pools” and includes guidance on all 15 water competencies, including:

  • entering and exiting the water
  • submerging
  • breath control
  • floating and moving through the water

You can read more about the 15 water competencies here.

A great head start before school

Starting this education at home is a great idea because your child will then be safer around water, as well as being more confident and ready to learn traditional swimming strokes when they start school.

While our new module is aimed at parents and caregivers, this information will also be valuable for early childhood educators.

To sum up, this course is recommended for anyone who has regular care of children under five – why not get grandparents and the rest of your whānau involved?

Check out the new module today!

After completing this free Young Children Developing Water Competence online module, you will:

• understand how to keep your under-fives safe when near water
• have ideas on ways to have fun with your young child in and around water
• know how to build you and your young child’s water competence

Other free courses available

DPA has a range of other free eLearning courses available on our website, including “Early Childhood Water Safety”. This course covers the ‘Layers of Protection’ that are essential to help keep your young children safe around bodies of water. The four layers of protection are: supervision, barriers, water competence and CPR. While this content is also aimed at parents of under-fives, the material can be used by early childhood educators. This course covers several water competencies and will help you teach your young children water competence and confidence in and around the home, around pools and spas, and in open water environments.

Visit eLearning platform

In-person opportunities to extend your knowledge and confidence

DPA continues to work alongside early childhood centres, kindergartens, schools and kura, and homebased learning services around Auckland to encourage the inclusion of water safety in the curriculum, giving both parents and children confidence around water.

What’s more, we offer free presentations and resources to parents and caregivers. If you’re interested in organising a DPA presentation for a parent group, please contact: Helen Meyrick on: [email protected]

We also offer professional learning and development for early childhood educators, as well as classroom-based water safety sessions for under-fives. Our goal is to continue making drowning prevention education as accessible, meaningful, and as much fun as possible.

Contact us for information

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