In 2006, we took a leap of faith and opened our first Goldfish Swim School. Despite the unknowns, we jumped in feet first not knowing what the future would hold.

What started as a mission to help children be safer in and around water, and an idea to transform the way swim lessons are taught, has turned into something beyond our wildest hopes and dreams.

Fourteen years and 100+ schools later, we’re facing an entirely different world of unknowns, as we, like many businesses, find ourselves navigating the uncharted waters of COVID-19.

Despite the challenges 2020 has brought our way, we can’t help but reflect on this year with a thankful heart, grateful for the lessons it taught us—lessons that have truly made our team Safer. Stronger.Together.®.


From the beginning, we’ve weathered the storm of this global pandemic hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder with our franchisees.

In addition to hosting daily support calls, which provided a forum through which franchisees could share best practices, we offered guidance and support with reviewing executive orders and worked with suppliers to acquire appropriate PPE, signage and other materials necessary to address safety requirements.

We also provided franchisees with financial support by deferring royalties and actively assisted with the process of applying for government funding through economic relief programs.

While all of this was going on behind the scenes, our award-winning marketing team was hard at work developing marketing and communications programs to help franchisees engage with consumers in a meaningful way. Even when schools were closed, we quickly adapted, creating ‘Goldfish at Home’ to provide free, virtual dry-land swim exercises to families nationwide, and a variety of virtual water safety-focused initiatives and activities.

As we began to welcome our families back to in-person lessons, there was some understandable hesitation. However, we met those concerns by working hand-in-hand with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as complying with each school’s state and local health authorities to safely and responsibly open.

Through transparency, open communication and sheer dedication, we’ve continued to innovate in the face of uncertainty, implementing positive changes that have had a profound impact on operations, such as our new and improved member portal and mobile app. The platform lets members easily manage their accounts, with the ability to:

  • Book classes
  • Reschedule lessons
  • Receive timely notifications about class changes
  • View swimmers’ progress reports
  • And more!

These technological developments have made our families’ experiences with us even more convenient amidst the ever-changing business landscape due to COVID-19.


In a year where innovation and technology proved more essential to businesses than any time in recent history, we’re honored to have been recognized with the following awards:

These acknowledgments are just the tip of the iceberg for us. Even in an economy that’s been in flux, we’ve been able to grow. This year alone, we opened 14 new locations for a total of 111 schools spanning across 30 states, and signed 19 additional franchise agreements.

In addition to the growth of our franchise sales, we’ve experienced increased satisfaction surveys and consistently outrank our competition, staking our claim as the most established and successful swim school franchise in the market today.

Of course, none of the recognition we’ve received would have ever been possible without our dedicated franchisees, who have made adjustments to continue serving families in an uncertain time.

As we push forward with new openings and development deals in this COVID era, we’re beyond appreciative of the incredible culture we’ve built, our hardworking franchisees and dedicated Franchise Office support team.


Goldfish instructor teaches student arm movements in the water

Although the world may look a little different, drowning remains the number one cause of injury-related death for children ages 1-4. We’re on a mission to change that!

With the ability to reduce the rate of drowning by up to 88%, access to swim lessons are essential to saving lives. And, according to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread in a properly maintained pool.

While we’re encouraged by California’s recent decision to deem drowning prevention classes (including swim lessons) as an essential public need, and remain hopeful that other states will follow suit, there is still so much that can be done to spread the important message of water safety.

That’s why we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the USA Swimming Aquatics Coalition, supporting all efforts to educate public officials about the importance of continuing to provide children with access to lifesaving swim lessons in a safe and responsible manner.


With more than 100 locations across North America (and growing), we know what it takes to help a franchisee thrive in this industry.

Just ask the Flemings, who recently opened their swim school during the COVID-19 pandemic and set the standard for operating within the state of Arkansas.

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the world of franchising, or you’re looking to build your portfolio, we invite you to learn more about the available markets in which Goldfish Swim School currently has opportunities. Take the next step and contact us today.