There is no organization more qualified in swim instruction than the Y, who invented swim lessons in 1903. The Y teaches water safety, a critical life-saving skill for all children and adults, and how to swim. These skills build confidence and make it possible to safely enjoy pools, water parks, and the outdoors.
People of all ages can learn fundamental swimming skills from nationally certified instructors while fostering a life-long appreciation for physical activity and wellness.
Not sure where to begin? Use the form below to determine which swim lesson level is right for you or your child.
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Financial assistance can be applied to swim lessons.
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- Parent of Swim Lesson Participant
SWIM LESSON FAQ
At the Y, we believe every child should have the opportunity to learn skills that help keep them safe in and around bodies of water. Drowning is a leading cause of death in young people, and studies have shown that children who know how to swim reduce their risk of drowning by 88%.
While the safety swim skills provide each child, we also are committed to ensuring our swim program provides a way for children to build character, develop responsibility, foster new friendships, and gain confidence. The skills children learn in the YMCA swim program will benefit in ways that extend beyond the water. Pools at the Y are a place where communities come together and bridges are built.
Known as America’s swim instructor, the Y has been in the business of teaching swim lessons for more than a century. As such, we consider it a priority, and a responsibility, to prevent drowning and improve health outcomes by cultivating physical, cognitive, and social-emotional well-being through swimming.
Our comprehensive swim program focuses on equipping those new to the water with the skills they need to stay safe in and around water, developing technique in those already comfortable in the water, and creating pathways for young people that allow them to thrive. We do all this in fun, inclusive environments that include games, toys, and engagement with instructors and classmates. Our swim program also encompasses take home activities and character-building components.
YMCA swim instructors are all required to pass a rigorous swim instructor training course and are all certified in CPR and First Aid. Additionally, our pools are all lifeguarded by certified lifeguards, and many of our classes are assisted by a certified swim instructor assistant.
Masks are required indoors, except while swimming or showering. The Y asks that everyone wear a mask whenever possible, except in the pool. We appreciate your cooperation to keep the community healthy.
Safety is our top priority, and the following COVID-19 protocols are currently in place for swim lessons:
- Social distancing between students
- All instructors wear face shields
- Only one parent per household allowed on the pool deck to reduce capacity and ensure distancing on the pool deck
- Sanitation after each lesson of all equipment (kickboards, toys, etc.)
Our group swim lessons are typically sold in packages of eight lessons, and are offered once per week for eight weeks, twice per week for four weeks, or four times per week for two weeks (offerings vary by season and location). Group swim lessons have fixed class dates and times. The cost for a group lesson package is $149 for YMCA members with active memberships and $199 for community members. Each swim lesson is 40 minutes.
Private and semi-private lessons are typically sold in packages of four lessons, and may be sold with fixed or flexible dates, depending on the season and location. A session of four private swim lessons is $245 for YMCA members with active memberships and $319 for community members. A session of four semi-private lessons is $350 for two YMCA members with active memberships and $425 for community members. Private and semi-private swim lessons are 40 minutes.
1. Cancellations made 14 days or more before the program start date will receive a full refund, less the deposit (if applicable).
2. Cancellations made within the 14 day period will receive YMCA credit.
3. Once the program begins, no refunds or credits will be issued. Special consideration will be given for medical circumstances supported by a doctor’s note.
4. You may transfer to another program or session up to the start date. Once the program begins no transfers will be made.
Unfortunately, we do not offer make up classes. If your child misses a class, the instructor can provide take home assignments that you can do at home with your child to help them continue their progress.
Transfers are available when space allows, as when the transfer occurs before the second day of classes. You can log in to your YMCA account to transfer to another class or email the Y Solution Center at [email protected].
There is no requirement for how often your child needs to swim outside of lessons. Children who practice swimming between lessons are more likely to progress faster through the swim skill continuum than those who do not. If you are interested in learning about activities you can do with your child to reinforce skills they’ve learned in class, let your swim instructor know, and they can provide you with take home activities.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be exposed to swim lessons and the aquatic environment by their first birthday, and our parent/child classes are a great first step toward water safety for children. Our infant/toddler classes (which require parents to be in the water with their child) are for youth 6 months to 36 months old. Group lessons are for those 3 years and older.
Every child is unique, and each child develops at their own pace, so there is no perfect answer to this question. However, if your child has expressed interest in water, if they take basic instruction well, or if you plan to be around aquatic environments with them, we recommend enrolling them in swim lessons.
Many children new to the water are nervous or fearful, and this is normal. Our swim instructors are well-trained to work with youth who are uncomfortable around water. In fact, our parent/child and Stage 1 group classes are really all about just getting kids comfortable in the water.
If you have concerns about your child’s comfort level in the water, please reach out to your local branch Aquatics Director. We’re here to help.
When you arrive at the Y, you’ll check in at the welcome center, regardless of whether or not you have a YMCA membership. After checking in, you can head to the locker room or pool deck with your child. At the pool deck, you’ll be greeted by a YMCA staff member who will check you into the lesson and let you know who your child’s instructor will be.
Occasionally, children are enrolled in a stage that is too easy or too difficult for them. In these cases, our aquatics staff will make their best effort to reassign your child to the appropriate class stage. If this cannot be accommodated, a credit will be issued for a future swim session.
Many of our instructors are trained and experienced in teaching swim lessons to children and adults with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Please check with your local branch to learn about these swim offerings.
We know that watching your child learn to swim is exciting, and absolutely understand the desire to take pictures and videos of your child. However, to respect the privacy of all participants, we ask the photos and videos only be taken on the last day of class, and with the permission of the swim instructor, who will ensure no other children are in the frame.