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Puddle Ducks Franchise

Est. 2002, Puddle Ducks is a baby and child swimming school offering franchisees the opportunity to build big businesses. We invite ambitious individuals with real business acumen to contact us.

Claire Mills Puddle Ducks

Interested in Puddle Ducks ?

Contact Claire Mills

For an insight into the Puddle Ducks opportunity...

At a Glance

Established: 2002; started franchising in 2007

UK Presence: 33 franchisees owning over 50 territories across the UK

Average start up cost: £24,000

Min personal contribution: £5,000

Development type: single unit partners; can expand into multi-unit operation.

Franchise Membership: bfa Established

Franchise Info

puddle ducks franchise

Opportunity to grow a substantial business and go on to be a multi-unit owner

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 and all teachers are STA qualified.

Puddle Ducks was founded in 2002 by Jo Stone and Tracy Townend after they met at ante-natal classes. 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. They opened their first Puddle Ducks classes in Northwich in 2002 and began franchising in 2007.

Puddle Ducks currently has 33 franchisees owning over 50 territories across the UK teaching more than 25,000 children every week. With a vision for every franchise territory to have a managed or owned pool by 2027, and with a track record of being awarded Workbuzz 5* franchisee satisfaction based on confidential feedback from their franchise owners for 11 consecutive years, Puddle Ducks don’t tread water when it comes to being a successful franchise business.

Puddle Ducks are proud to have recently celebrated 15 franchise owner renewals of 5, 10 and 15 years with four reaching their 15-year renewal which highlights the trust in the brand and the incredible opportunities it provides. Their franchisees reap significant financial rewards as well as huge personal satisfaction knowing they are providing a life-long skill to so many children in their local area.

puddle ducks franchise

The Franchise Opportunity

As a Puddle Ducks franchisee, you will enjoy regular business from loyal customers as your team help children to swim from birth to 10 years with this fun loving and innovative franchise.

Puddle Ducks are looking to partner with talented, passionate people with real business acumen who will be mentored closely with outstanding Head Office support, management systems, training and much more to ensure your business runs smoothly and successfully.

Some Puddle Ducks Franchisees start off teaching in the water, so they can fully immerse themselves in the product and truly understand their customers, but this isn’t always the case, as some owners will employ the services of a teacher while they run the business. Ultimately, the aim is to manage a team of teachers, poolside assistants and administration, taking ownership of your own territory.

With two pools now owned by franchisees in the network, pool-builds underway and several franchisees moving into investing and managing pools on behalf of pool owners and securing exclusive use via water-tight contracts, we are entering a new phase regarding the management and ownership of pools.

We have fully-qualified experts at Head Office to support our franchisees with whatever model they want to employ, all with a view to making the business model more sustainable and giving the brand a strategic boost in the mind of the customer.


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. £5,000 + 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.

puddle ducks franchise

The role of a Puddle Ducks franchisee

As a Franchise Owner, your main tasks will be:

  • Sourcing pools (Puddle Ducks has a vision for every franchise territory to have a managed or owned pool by 2027).
  • Recruiting and managing a team of teachers, trained to the highest standards the industry has to offer.
  • Finding customers.
  • Recruiting and managing a customer care and marketing team.
  • Business planning and financial management; working with the tools and management information provided to you by Duck HQ (Shark, Xero, Website) and with the Franchise Support, Marketing, Retail and Pool Build experts at Duck HQ to realise the potential of your franchise.
  • Puddle Ducks’ retail offering further strengthens their brand, offering customers a convenient, quality solution for all their swimming lesson essentials and offers their Franchisees a chance to earn discount on their Management Service Fee based on sales of retail goods.

puddle ducks franchise

Multi-award winning franchise

Many existing Puddle Ducks franchisees have won prestigious industry awards, expanded their businesses and found huge success as part of the brand. Here are just some of Puddle Ducks’ most recent achievements:

  • 5* Franchisee Satisfaction for the 11th consecutive year which is praise indeed from their franchise owners who provided information confidentially - one of only four UK franchisors to achieve this!
  • Ranked 20th in the Elite Franchise Top 100 UK Awards 2023
  • Winner of the Elite Franchise Rising Star of the Year Award 2023
  • Winner of the ‘New Woman Franchisee of the Year’ in the Encouraging Women in Franchising EWIF awards 2022
  • Finalist of the British Franchise Association Lifestyle Franchisee of the Year Award 2023
  • Finalist of the Prolific North Champions Award 2023
  • Finalist of the British Franchise Association HSBC Franchisor of the Year Award 2022

Franchise territories available

  • London (and surrounding area)
  • Surrey
  • Cambridgeshire (and surrounding area)
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Birmingham/West Midlands/Warwickshire
  • Hampshire
  • Devon
  • South Wales
  • South Scotland

puddle ducks franchise

Claire Mills Puddle Ducks

Interested in Puddle Ducks ?

Contact Claire Mills

For an insight into the Puddle Ducks opportunity...

Click on the link below to receive further information on our franchise opportunity. You can also connect directly with us to ask any questions.

This is FREE and non-obligatory; we never share or sell your personal information.

Success Stories

Success Story
Ambitious couple develop flagship Puddle Ducks site

Liz and Phil Gabriel own and manage Puddle Ducks baby and child swimming school franchises in Nottinghamshire and North Leicestershire. In 2017 they also bought and relaunched The Key Health Club in Nottingham, as a flagship home for Puddle Ducks in the area.

Read more
Success Story
How a Puddle Ducks mum became a swimming school entrepreneur

Accountant Kim Pinnington had been a Puddle Ducks customer for several years before she decided to leave behind her career in banking and dive into the swim school business for herself. Now, two years on, her financial background and personal experiences have stood her in good stead. She has expanded from one large franchise region into two and her business is growing all the time, while still affording her the opportunity to accompany her own children to their Puddle Ducks swimming lessons

Read more
Success Story
Over 11 happy years in the pool with Puddle Ducks

Sarah Austin has owned the Bristol and Bath franchise of Puddle Ducks baby and child swimming school for long enough that she has passed a number of milestones. The business was teaching 1,000 children a week by 2015, received an award for excellence at the company’s national conference in 2017 and celebrated 10 years in business in 2018. Now, she is happier in her role than ever.

Read more
Success Story
Accountant’s passion for swimming is now big business

Carolyn Sharpe (38) swam competitively as a teenager but after pursuing a career as an accountant she never thought she would find herself in the pool again, for any reason other than to keep fit. Now however, Carolyn owns the franchise for Puddle Ducks North East, a baby and child swim school that teaches over 1,400 young children per week to share in her passion for the water.

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Success Story
Parent professionals are shaping their own family friendly business

Suzanne and Gary Horton enjoyed their careers as legal professionals until, following the birth of their second child, they discovered that their traditional roles didn’t leave enough time for family life. So, in 2011, they bought the Puddle Ducks baby and child swim school franchise for Greater Manchester. The business now teaches swimming to over 1,000 customers every week from six local pools, including their very own family swim centre Aqua Nurture. The couple sit at the helm of a thriving business that has family life at its heart.

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Puddle Ducks achieve 5* franchisee satisfaction for a record-breaking 12th consecutive year!

Nationwide child and baby swim school franchise, Puddle Ducks, is delighted to be named as the first franchise to achieve 12 consecutive years of 5* franchisee satisfaction.

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Puddle Ducks announce their 'Franchisee of the Year 2024'

Leading baby and child swim school Puddle Ducks, has announced the owner of its Wakefield, Barnsley, Sheffield and South Leeds franchise, as its ‘Franchisee of the Year’.

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Puddle Ducks celebrate at their annual conference

Always a highlight on the Puddle Ducks calendar, the network recently came together for their annual franchise conference, once again at the stunning Cranage Hall in Cheshire.

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Couple strike perfect balance with launch of swimming franchise

A Warwickshire based couple are making a splash, bringing award-winning Puddle Ducks swimming lessons to Coventry and Warwickshire.

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Puddle Ducks' franchise network pulls together for PJ Week

Children across the nation donned their pyjamas and took the plunge recently, taking part in baby and child swim school, Puddle Ducks’ Pyjama Week.

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Puddle Ducks wrap up a successful 2023!

Puddle Ducks had a lot to celebrate in 2023, with numerous accolades achieved across the franchise network, and the company achieving their highest ever placement at number 18 in the Elite Franchise Top 100.

Read more


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