It looks like it’s all fun, but the Goldfish Swim Schools are offering a very important service. The leading cause of injury deaths in children aged 1 to 14 is drowning according to the CDC. Drowning kills more children aged 1 to 4 than any other cause except birth defects. Goldfish Swim Schools give swim lessons to children from the age of 4 months to 12 years. By providing a child-friendly, warm pool and bright tropical graphics, the schools incorporate fun and safety – and become a family favorite.

The Goldfish Swim School started in 2006 and began franchising in 2009. Since then, they have been named number one in their category by Entrepreneur and ranked 45th in the Franchise 500 which judges a franchise on its costs, size, brand strength and more. Currently, Goldfish Swim has 65 schools in 23 states and teaches over 70,000 students system wide. Started by Olympic qualifier Jenny McCuiston – who also has a degree in early childhood development – and her husband Chris, the Goldfish Swim Schools are well designed to meet the needs of their young clients. The schools teach swimming and water safety, but their program is also designed to build confidence, a benefit that serves their swimmers as a lifelong character trait. Combining fun with safety, it has become a family favorite – and, even, offers family swim time in addition to a full menu of classes at all levels.



  • Fills valuable teaching/safety niche
  • Operates year round
  • Multiple revenue streams
  • Complete training and support
  • Third-party financing available


  • Location must be built, usually from ground up
  • Very substantial investment needed
  • Experienced, certified staff required
  • Large investment means longer break-even point
  • Must maintain small class size

Conclusion: When you decide to open a Goldfish Swim School franchise, you will make a substantial investment – but that investment will pay off by giving you the satisfaction of changing lives and, even, saving lives. Death by drowning is a leading cause of childhood death. Learning to swim not only makes the child safer in the water, it builds confidence and strength. There is no season to a Goldfish Swim School. They are open year-round, offering shiver-free pools that are heated to 90 degrees. Your lessons are not confined to warm weather. Plus, you offer an exciting venue for children’s party and family swim time to keep your pool producing revenue all year, year in and year out.


A top franchise, Goldfish Swim School requires a substantial investment when you become a franchisee. You’re going to have built out your location. You’ll have a very substantial investment in creating your swim school, probably building from the ground up. However, you’re going to own a franchise that fills a specific safety need and one that offers multiple revenue streams – and fun! Count on exceptional support from the franchisor including available third-party financing.

Initial Franchise Fee $50,000
Leasehold Improvements $1,016,250 to $2,272,961
On-going Royalty 6%
Ad Royalty Fee 2%
Net-Worth Requirement $750,000 to $1,500,000
Liquid Cash Requirement $450,000 to $600,000
ESTIMATED TOTAL STARTUP COSTS $1,315,283 to $2,912,358


If you have a passion for the water and for children, this is a great franchise for you. It’s the leader in its category according to Entrepreneur. Whether a family has a backyard pool or a summer home by a lake, parents realize the importance of making children as water safe as possible. Plus, think of the appeal of a wonderful warm pool at the center of a winter birthday celebration!

Teaching Swimming and Safety

The Goldfish Swim School puts an emphasis on not just teaching swimming and swimming strokes, but on making children water safe. Using a building block approach, Goldfish Swim Schools teach breath control. Swimmers learn how to hold their breath, build up their ability to swim while holding that breath and, most importantly, what to do when they run out of breath. There’s even a once-a-month safety week that focuses on water safety skills.

Extraordinary Design

It’s not a matter of throwing the children into the deep end – not by a long shot! The Goldfish Swim School pool is designed for teaching water safety while children enjoy the water! There’s a ledge along the sides of the pool that allow the little ones to sit – no getting in and out or hanging on the edge. Plus, the water is heated to a delightful 90 degrees. There’s no shivering. Add the bright, tropical décor and it’sfun with a serious purpose.

A “Golden” Learning Experience

Goldfish Swim School wants to create a “Golden” learning experience for each of its swimmers. They offer a full range of lessons at different levels from age 4 months to 12 years. Baby and toddler lessons include a family member in the pool and offer a 1 to 6 instructor ratio. AS the children grow, that ratio reduces to 1 to 4. That means children are getting the attention they need; not just waiting their turn. There are even Jump Start sessions for water safety.


You know your main business is going to be providing swim lessons that stress water safety and stroke instruction for more advanced students, including those in the Swim Team group. The lessons are planned building blocks to keep your students returning for the next level. However, you can count on additional revenue streams at your Goldfish Swim School. First, there’s the party room. Today’s parents are always looking for a new – but easy-on-them – way to give their children a special birthday. How about a swim party in the middle of winter? That’s a winner for them and you. Then, there’s the Treasure Island Pro Shop that have everything a swimmer needs from goggles to apparel – and toys. It’s easy shopping for your guests and extra revenue for you. Of course, swimming can work up an appetite so how about offering an edible gold medal? The Snack Shack offers kid-friendly treats like popcorn, juice and more. Coffee for the parents, of course!


You were always told not to jump in the pool alone and when you invest in a Goldfish Swim School, you’ve got the assurance that you have not just a buddy but a whole team at your side! You’ve got help! The franchisor will offer demographic data and a market analysis so your location is golden. When it’s time for the build out, you’ll get an approved list of architects and construction companies plus design and construction manuals, approved suppliers and vendors for construction-related materials and onsite visits from our expert construction team. You’ll know your facility will work because you can lean on the experience that has built over 65 schools in 23 states. Then, you’ll get complete training over a 4-week period that includes on-the-job experience. You’ll be completely ready to offer the Golden swim experience when you open your Goldfish Swim School. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of owning and operating a needed and appreciated experience for children!

It’s the right one for you if:

  • You enjoy sales and customer service;
  • You have an entrepreneurial spirit;
  • You want a leading franchise;
  • You want to fill an important safety niche; and,
  • You love being all wet!


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