Cost set to rise for swimmers

Kristie Lim and Callum HunterSouth Western Times

WA families will have to pay more than twice as much for school holiday swimming lessons this summer.

The State Government in 2017 announced an increase from $13.50 to $30 for a 10-day Vac-Swim program, or $20 for families with a concession card, as part of a $64 million cut to the education system.

The price rise has been rolled out this year for the October and January school holidays.

For five-day programs, parents will need to pay $16 per child or a $41 family rate if they have three or more children.

For all other programs, it will cost parents $30 per child or a $81 family rate, which ranges from eight to 10 days.

There was a decrease from 56,998 children enrolled in the program in 2017-18 to 56,254 in 2018-19.

The Department of Education, which runs the program, said enrolments so far were on track to rise.

Local mother of two Jodie Davies said she still thought the prices were reasonable given how essential it was for children to learn how to swim.

“We couldn’t actually book our daughter in last year because it was so busy,” she said.

“Hopefully if the costs are increasing it will be easier to book her in.”

Department of Education Statewide services executive director Kellie Properjohn said VacSwim was the most cost effective swimming and water safety program in Australia.

“Learning swimming skills and water safety — in pools and at the beach — is very important and VacSwim has a long and proud history of giving WA children these opportunities,” she said.

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