Who we are

We are Children of the Water. Zoë and Jojo started this journey on the magical island of ibiza. They bring over 20 years experience in to the water. Our Children of the Water family is growing and we have instructors all over the world. Our team has a holistic approach to the self rescue technique.

From the moment we welcome our tiny ones, we worry and are constantly focused on taking care of and safe-guarding our children.

What happens every time you and your children are around water?
Cue stress and worry, right?

We want to put your mind at ease. As internationally certified aquatic teaching and lifeguards we’ve thought thousands of babies and toddlers how to swim, rescue themselves and enjoy the water safely.

We can teach yours too.

Our team

The Netherlands

Gisela

Gisela has always been very passionate about the ocean and teaching children life skills. When working as a nanny, she realised that she wanted to exchange her guidance on the land, for guidance in the water, which led to her becoming a Swimming instructor. When Gisela discovered Self Rescue, it became her ultimate dream and goal; to teach as many children as possible these life saving skills in the water. We are so excited for Gisela represent our Children of the Water family, in her home town, Maastricht!

Helma

As a child, Helma spent as much time in the water as she possibly could. After receiving all her swimming certificates, she continued her journey in the water by gaining a variety of degrees at the life guard association. When her second child was born, Helma realised she wanted to work in the water with children and got her Swim Instructors degree. She’s been working in the water for over 18 years now with babies and children.

Jasmijn

Jasmijn grew up spending her summers in France surfing and has always had a love of the water. Having a photography & art background Jasmijn worked as a talent development teacher in primary education in The Hague, teaching photography, arts, technique and robotics.  As a part of the Children of the Water family she combines her passion for the water with her passion for teaching children.

Joy

Joy has always been passionate about water and children. She is the mom of a beautiful girl and combining both water safety and working with children is a dream job.

Joy worked as a gym teacher, teaching the last 8 years at a primary school. She has worked with all ages and therefore she developed a large set of didactic skills.

Kara

Kara is Co founder and Co owner of Children of the Water Amsterdam. Kara has been teaching Self Rescue in Amsterdam for more than 8 years. She trained our very own Zoë van Straalen as an instructor. As an American she was very familiar with the Self Rescue Technique and found out that in Holland and even Europe these life-saving swimming programs for children were obsolete, so she decided to develop it herself. She has a passion for water, being an avid surfer when she lived in Virginia Beach, America and whenever she travels and there is a possibility to be in the ocean she is in it! Given this passion for water and being able to share and teach babies how to safely enjoy being in the water made it the perfect mix! Kara trained/studied and received her certificate from Joy McGinty of SouthWest Aquatics/PediaSwim Academy.

Linde

Growing up around the water, Linde swam competitively until she was a teenager. Linde is an avid sailor, as well as sports management professional and master of culture and change with 7 years of experience working for Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institute (KNRM) and is acutely aware of the dangers that water can hold. Linde was trained in the US by and Infant Aquatic Survival Specialist Judy Heumann en Kyla Heumann-Blum, in Longmont Colorado.

Linde is also a Self Rescue instructor trainer.

Mariëlle

Since a young age Marielle has had a love for water, which led her to start teaching ABC swim lessons in 2016. She is a mother of two and a stewardess for more than 20 years; After teaching swimming for 3 years she realised that the dangerous gap currently held from baby to the standard age of swimming ABC could be resolved after following Children of The Water on Instagram.

Michiel

Michiel is a father of twin girls and has been teaching ABC swim lessons in The Netherlands. His desire to enable children to be confident swimmers led him to Children of The Water. And the holistic Self Rescue approach was the perfect solution in achieving his goals. His many life experiences enable him to connect on all levels with children and parents alike, which is so evidently important when embarking on this swim journey together.

Pauline

Pauline is a mother of two children and has always had a desire to work with children and has a passion for water safety. As a quailed Self Rescue instructor she combines the technique with love and patience. These qualities support her work and enables her to make children safe in the water and feel confident during the process. Pauline is one of the first instructors to join Children of the Water and continues to grow in the development of the technique.

Susan

Susan is een ervaren zwemster en sinds 2023 combineert zij met veel passie en liefde haar baan als stewardess bij KLM met het lesgeven bij Children of the water. Susan woont in Haarlem en heeft ervaren hoe mooi en waardevol de Self Rescue cursus voor je eigen kindje kan zijn. Als moeder van een jonge wereldverkenner, is ze graag nabij water en samen op avontuur. Je zult Susan regelmatig naast Linde in het water treffen als ze niet vliegt!

Sylvana

Sylvana is a Mother to her little boy Zenn. She signed up Zenn for the course, to make sure he was safe in and around water. After the course she made the decision to become an instructor.

She holds a qualification in special pedagogical work allowing her to specifically work with children.
Sylvana embodies Children of the Waters holistic approach in her communication with each family and child in and out of the water.

Wijntje

As a baby, Wijntje learned to swim without flotation devices from her father and at the age of 2 swam along on snorkelling trips in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea. As a teenager she competed in swimming, sailing, windsurfing, diving and diving. A real water child.

As a conscious single mother, she also wanted this water freedom for her daughter and that is how she ended up at Children of the Water. Wijntje has worked in recent years as a trainer and coach in personal development and now combines these skills with her love for water and free children.

Zoë

Zoë is a Co Founder and one of the owners of Children Of The Water. As a mother of three boys who surfed, she has always been around the water. When her youngest son had a non fatal drowning accident,
she was determined to set up a company with a mission to get every child safe in and around the water.

Zoe is also a Self Rescue instructor trainer and heads up the Children of the Water Training Academy.

Germany

Christina

Christina is a proud Mama of two little girls. Her love for the water already started from young age and she competed in several swim competitions. Her journey with Children Of The Water began when she moved with her family to Spain where we were surrounded by water. Her older child was very scared around water, especially from the ocean, and she knew she had to support her in feeling safe around water. She immediately enrolled her two children in the course.

Christina now owns a franchise territory in Austria.

Austria

Christina

Christina is a proud Mama of two little girls. Her love for the water already started from young age and she competed in several swim competitions. Her journey with Children Of The Water began when she moved with her family to Spain where we were surrounded by water. Her older child was very scared around water, especially from the ocean, and she knew she had to support her in feeling safe around water. She immediately enrolled her two children in the course.

Christina now owns a franchise territory in Austria.

Caribbean

Melinda

Belgium

Amy

Amy’s goal is to get as many children safe in the water as possible. In her job as a Self Rescue instructor can be combined with her passion for working with children and her love for swimming. Amy has been working with children for many years. She worked in a daycare centre and in healthcare. This makes her very capable of putting children and their parents at ease when necessary.

As the daughter of Krisje and Frank, Amy has been in the water from an early age. They now fulfil this meaningful job together as Self Rescue Instructors.

Elke

Besides being a passionate swimmer from a very young age, Elke works at the neonatal intensive care unit in Brussels where she nourishes the tiniest premature babies and their parents daily. Because of this wonderful job, she knows like no other what it is like to be holding the life of your precious ones in her hands. Next to this Elke has her own baby spa.  Elke will be welcoming all children and their families for their Self Rescue courses in her very own indoor heated pool at her lovely home. We look forward to hearing all the wonderful stories of the parents who will be joining Elke’s courses!

Frank

Frank is from a sports background having been a football player. In 2014 he finished his first ‘Iron Man’ in Florida. Hawaii is still his biggest dream. When he met his now wife, Krisje, who was already a swimming instructor, he was very interested in also teaching swimming. In 2017, Frank was fully trained by Krisje through their swimming school, Aqua House Swimschool in Schilde, Antwerp.
As a trained swimming instructor Frank can teach babies from crawling age all the way up to adulthood. Children of the Water and Aqua House form a beautiful collaboration.

Gisela

Gisela has always been very passionate about the ocean and teaching children life skills. When working as a nanny, she realised that she wanted to exchange her guidance on the land, for guidance in the water, which led to her becoming a Swimming instructor. When Gisela discovered Self Rescue, it became her ultimate dream and goal; to teach as many children as possible these life saving skills in the water. We are so excited for Gisela represent our Children of the Water family, in her home town, Maastricht!

Katrien

As a multi-skilled teenager, Katrien was into many sports. When studying to become a gym teacher and lifeguard, she found out that it gave her a lot of energy to teach swimming skills to young children. For almost 15 years she combined her job as a teacher with being a swimming instructor.

With extensive experience in this field, Katrien thought it was time to bring this to another level. She had been following Children of the Water for quite some time and seeing the youngest children getting these lifesaving skills made her dream of becoming an instructor. Having 3 young kids, as no one else she recognizes the importance of training in this incredible technique to the youngest children.

Krisje

Krisje started her swimming journey when she was only 10 months old. Her Father often took her swimming in the sea where she felt like a fish in the water. Not long after that she joined a swim school, became a competitive swimmer and won her first medal when she was only 8 years old. Krisje became National Champion of Belgium from fourteen years old until sixteen. When she was nineteen she broke the record for 50m front crawl. Krisje was in the National team for 8 years. Not surprisingly, Krisje has been running her own wonderful Aqua House Swim school for over 30 years and is very passionate about teaching little ones her amazing skills, together with our Self Rescue technique! Besides swimming Krisje loves to travel the world.

Spain

Frank

Frank is from a sports background having been a football player. In 2014 he finished his first ‘Iron Man’ in Florida. Hawaii is still his biggest dream. When he met his now wife, Krisje, who was already a swimming instructor, he was very interested in also teaching swimming. In 2017, Frank was fully trained by Krisje through their swimming school, Aqua House Swimschool in Schilde, Antwerp.
As a trained swimming instructor Frank can teach babies from crawling age all the way up to adulthood. Children of the Water and Aqua House form a beautiful collaboration.

Jo

Jojo is one of the Co Founders and owners of Children Of The Water. Having attended the famous sports school in the Uk, Millfield, she spent her youth as a competitive swimmer. Jojo competed on a national level and was selected to swim for the Scottish youth team.
A qualified STA baby swimming instructor, Jojo brings her skills of being ex competitive swimming and working with baby and children to the company.
As a Mother of two young boys, and being by the water constantly living in Ibiza, she felt is absolutely necessary for her children to be safe.
Jojo is also a Self Rescue instructor trainer and heads the Fast Track swimming program.

Krisje

Krisje started her swimming journey when she was only 10 months old. Her Father often took her swimming in the sea where she felt like a fish in the water. Not long after that she joined a swim school, became a competitive swimmer and won her first medal when she was only 8 years old. Krisje became National Champion of Belgium from fourteen years old until sixteen. When she was nineteen she broke the record for 50m front crawl. Krisje was in the National team for 8 years. Not surprisingly, Krisje has been running her own wonderful Aqua House Swim school for over 30 years and is very passionate about teaching little ones her amazing skills, together with our Self Rescue technique! Besides swimming Krisje loves to travel the world.

United Arab Emirates

Claire

Claire is a Mother of two children. She is a STA qualified Baby and Pre-school swimming teacher and an Early Years Educator who is incredibly passionate about Early Childhood Education both in and out of the swimming pool!

She owned a nursery back in South Africa for 8 years and whilst taking her children to swimming lessons realised she could combine two of her greatest loves: water and children and went on to qualify as a swimming instructor.

She headed up a Baby Swimming program in Dubai for the past 3 years and realised the massive need for Self Rescue in the region as they surrounded by water wherever they go.

United Kingdom

Jill

Jill has always been passionate about the water having been a former South of England swimming champion and represented the county of Essex. Jill has spent her entire career either swimming herself or teaching swimming.
She is a Swim England qualified teacher for over 6 years. Qualified parent and baby instructor and a member of STA.

Jo

Jojo is one of the Co Founders and owners of Children Of The Water. Having attended the famous sports school in the Uk, Millfield, she spent her youth as a competitive swimmer. Jojo competed on a national level and was selected to swim for the Scottish youth team.
A qualified STA baby swimming instructor, Jojo brings her skills of being ex competitive swimming and working with baby and children to the company.
As a Mother of two young boys, and being by the water constantly living in Ibiza, she felt is absolutely necessary for her children to be safe.
Jojo is also a Self Rescue instructor trainer and heads the Fast Track swimming program.

Costa Rica

Pleun

Pleun pursued various educational pathways in life.
She studied to become a Social Studies Teacher when she met her husband Mick in the summer of 2012 on a surf camp in France.After travelling through New Zealand, Asia and Europe for a while their first son, Ngaru was born. Becoming a mother and doing a Doula course Pleun recognises she wanted to work with children and their parents. Doing the Self Rescue course with Ngaru inspired her to become an instructor herself. In 2019, after her second son, Momoa was born, she was trained by Zoe.

Now Pleun and her husband are raising their two wild boys in the jungle of Costa Rica.
Since it became evident, throughout their travels, that the Netherlands was not their place to be. In 2022, in the heart of Uvita, Costa Rica, they discovered the gem that they call home now; Tierra de Alegria. On their one hectare of jungle land with running water and lush greenery they envision different projects coming to life. One of them is an aquatic sanctuary where they can invite families to come swim and stay.
Pleun completed courses regarding permaculture, natural building and plant identification in the past few years, to acquire the knowledge and practical skills necessary for their diverse projects.

In this country, where the tropical climate enforces people to look for the refreshment of water, it is a necessity to provide good resources for children to be safe in and around water. Pleun is excited to start the Children of the Water journey in Costa Rica.

Build confidence for both you and your child.

Experience real peace of mind, relieve and truly enjoy your time while your children. You will never have to be stressed again close to the water, near swimming pools or at the sea.