Puddle Ducks

Investment levels
£0 - £10,000£10,001 - £20,000£20,001 - £50,000
Children Franchises

Puddle Ducks provide world-class swimming lessons to babies and children from birth – 10 years through their Baby & Pre-school programme (aged 0-4 years) and their Swim Academy (aged 4-10 years). They also run Aquanatal classes for mums-to-be.

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We provide world-class swimming lessons to babies and children from birth – 10 years through our Baby & Pre-school programme (aged 0-4 years) and our Swim Academy (aged 4-10 years). We also run Aquanatal classes for mums-to-be.

Puddle Ducks is a multi-award-winning baby and child swimming school; the only 100% child-led swim school in the UK, offering classes from bump through to 10 years of age with all teachers STA qualified. Offering potential franchisees the opportunity to build big businesses, Puddle Ducks invites ambitious individuals with real business acumen to join their growing franchise network.

The Puddle Ducks franchise network continues to grow, with over 33 franchisees, owning over 50 territories across the UK and teaching more than 25,000 children every week, enjoying regular business from loyal customers. The loyalty of the franchise network is also demonstrated through the anniversaries they frequently reach, with 15 franchise owners reaching renewals of 5, 10 and 15 years throughout 2023.

Reaching for ducks 2

From head office support to the tools needed to operate a successful business, Puddle Ducks is a hugely supportive and rewarding franchise business with an exceptional business model and you can join them!

With territories available in London (and surrounding area), Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham, Hampshire, Devon, South Wales and South Scotland, dive in with Puddle Ducks! 

Most of our franchisees are trained as Puddle Ducks Baby & Pre-school teachers and will start off in the water, teaching their customers themselves. It’s a great experience to go through the programme and really cements the passion for the brand but not everyone teaches and our aim, through initial business training and ongoing support and the experience of the network, is to get you out of the water as soon as possible, managing your own team of teachers and growing your business.

Our Head Office team cover Business Support, IT Support, Marketing, Retail, Pool Management, Technical and Finance. In addition to this, Head Office funds an HR service for the entire network and work closely with our Accountant Partners to ensure consistency and clarity across the network. We have the equivalent of 0.5 full-time employees per franchisee.

Team in pool

We believe communication within the network is the key driver for making sure the franchisees feel involved and listened too. It also provides us with a platform to drive home our brand values. Channels of communication include weekly franchisee newsletters, monthly whole network newsletters, Facebook forums for franchise owners, marketing and admin, Shark Focus Group, Marketing Council, annual Franchisee Conference, annual Franchisee Summer School, annual franchisee Regional Meetings, annual Regional Marketing Meetings, annual Business Health Checks and annual Technical Visits. This is in addition to all of Head Office being available on email or over the phone.

Puddle Ducks Franchise Owners have a wide range of backgrounds, from solicitors to accountants, from midwives to swimming teachers – they all have two things in common – passion for our brand and a desire to succeed in business whilst doing something rewarding.

We are looking for ambitious, hard-working people who can fulfil the potential that we have to offer. Most of our franchise owners start off in the water but we want you on dry land, managing a team of expert teachers as soon as possible and we have the experience to help you get there.

These figures apply to a virgin territory. Resales will be unique to the opportunity available.

  • Franchise Fee: £24,000 + VAT
    This gives you the licence to operate exclusively in your territory for 5 years with the option to renew. There is no additional fee at renewal
  • Minimum Personal Investment: approx. £125,000 + VAT
    We are an approved franchisor with HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and all have franchise departments who understand the landscape and are ready to lend as long as you have the Minimum Personal Investment stipulated by that particular bank
  • Working Capital
    Everybody’s personal circumstances are different, but we advise that you have enough money in the bank to sustain yourself for the first 12-24 months so that you aren’t drawing on the business. In addition to that, and depending on how quickly you want to grow the business, you may find that you need to pay for things like pool hire upfront so factor that into any business plan
Two in pool

Ongoing Fees

  • Management Service Fee: £10% of sales
  • National Marketing Levy: 1% of sales
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blue mum and baby
Green mum and baby

Puddle Ducks was founded in 2002 by Tracy Townend and Jo Stone after they met at ante-natal classes. As their friendship grew, they realised they shared more in common than the birth of their first children – they shared an ambition to succeed in business; the need to strike a work-life balance; and a desire to pass on the joy of swimming to babies and children.

Having spotted a gap in the market for high quality children’s swimming lessons, Tracy and Jo gave up their corporate careers and after much planning, research and training, Puddle Ducks was launched. Jo first saw the name “Puddle Ducks” on a barge whilst on holiday and it seemed to encapsulate our approach: aquatic, friendly and fun. A little research into the habits of the puddle duck confirmed that the name was indeed appropriate.

Tracy and Jo wanted to bring their vision to children across the UK and franchising was the best option for this with the first franchise being sold in 2007.

Today we teach approx. 25,000 babies and children each week to swim, be safe and develop water confidence right across the country via a network of dedicated franchise owners.

We have a very clear mission, vision and set of values that is at the heart of everything we do. Everyone who works with us and for the Puddle Ducks brand has a passion for swimming, an ambition for growth and a commitment to become experts in every aspect of their business.

row of stars

I have been a franchisee for 11 years now and I have no hesitation in rating them 5/5! Puddle Ducks has changed a lot since I joined and that’s one of the things I love about them. They embrace change and feedback from the whole network and are constantly striving to improve. The Head Office team are absolutely fantastic – real experts in their respective fields, giving us the very best swimming programme out there and all the tools we need to make our business a success. It’s been a huge adventure, one I would recommend to anyone who is willing to work hard, wants a challenge and to make a difference..

row of stars

We are so proud to be working with a franchise that cares so much about the quality of the service it provides and the support it provides to franchisees both new and old. Our experience from initial contact 9 years ago to becoming a mature franchise has been nothing but positive, the network feels like a family and Puddle Ducks HQ have invested a lot of time and effort improving the programmes, the brand, the operating systems and marketing strategies over this time. With Puddle Ducks we have built a successful business that we love. We have no regrets whatsoever and look forward to many more years of working with Puddle Ducks.

row of stars

I started looking into buying a franchise when my I was on maternity leave with my first child. My priorities had changed and the thought of going back to the day job and missing out on so much time with her was the main driving force. 9 years later and it is the best decision I ever made. The support from HQ and other franchisees ensures you still feel part of a team whilst also running your own business and building your own mini empire. It’s hard work but the rewards both financially and in terms of work/life balance are there for the taking.

Don’t just take their word for it, Puddle Ducks is recognised within the franchise industry and currently holds or is a finalist for a wide variety of awards.

Get your free tickets today!

Kickstart your franchise journey at the UK’s flagship Franchise Exhibitions. Discover a wide variety of franchise opportunities and meet the people behind the brands.

Find out more