Children's Swimming Lesson Program

Youth Swim Lesson Class Descriptions

Register online

Parent/Tot Water Safety (ages 6 months–3): Parent & Tot Water Safety is an orientation to the aquatic environment, the class is designed with both the child and parent in mind. Songs, water safety, entering and exiting the water, cueing, and holding techniques are some of the activities and topics covered in this class. Infants and toddlers are accompanied in the pool by their parent/guardian. Swim diapers are required for all children ages 3 and under.
Preschool Swim Lessons (ages 2.5-4): Preschool Swim Lessons are an introduction to swim lessons.  They focus on building comfort and enjoyment in the water using songs, games, and play. Classes are taught in the shallow section, in small groups without the parent. All children ages 3 and under are required to wear a swim diaper while in the pool.

Level 1 Introduction to Water (ages 4-9): Participants must be 4 years old by the first day of class.  Level 1 is a water adjustment class with a focus on basic swimming skills.

Level 2 Beginning Aquatic Skills (ages 4-10): Prerequisite: Participants must be able to enter and exit the water and travel at least 3 yards independently. Bob 3 times (fully submerging), float on front with face in water for 10 seconds, recover and float unsupported on back 5 seconds and recover.

Level 3 Fundamental Aquatic Skills (ages 5-11): Prerequisite: Participants must be able to jump into chest deep water, move into a front float for 5 seconds, roll to back float for 5 seconds and recover.  They must be able to push off side and swim on front using combined arm stroke and flutter kick for 10 yards; push off and swim back kick and fin for 10 yards.

Level 4 Stroke Development (ages 6-13): Prerequisite: Participants must be able to jump into deep water, swim front crawl for 20 yards with face in water and rhythmic breathing, maintain position by treading water 30 seconds and swim backstroke 15 yards.

Level 5 Stroke Refinement (ages 6-13): Prerequisite: Participants must be able to perform a feet-first entry into deep water; swim front crawl for 25 yards with rhythmic breathing, change direction and position and swim backstroke for 25 yards. Swim elementary back stroke 15 yards. Swim breast stroke 15 yards. Tread water 1 minute.

Private Swim Lesson (ages 3.5-12.5): 30-minute lesson of on-on-one instruction to meet the personal needs of students of all abilities.

Special Arrangement Group Lessons (June-August): During our late Spring/Summer Season, we offer special arrangement swim lessons in our recreation pool to school groups.  We require a minimum of 8 students and a maximum of 25-30 per 30-minute lesson. For more information or to schedule Special Arrangement Group Lessons, please contact the Aquatics Department by calling (510) 559-7015 or email


Question: How do I know what level to register my child?

Answer: Choose the level that you feel most fits your child’s skill level.

Question: I guessed the level I think is appropriate for my child but what happens if I was wrong? Or… I signed my child up for multiple sessions throughout the summer, what if my child progresses more quickly or slowly that I anticipated?

Answer: Please contact the Swim Center by calling (510) 559-7011 and we will make every effort to move your child up or down as needed. There is no fee associated with this type of transfer.

Question: Should I sign my child up for private swim lessons?

Answer: This depends on your child. Private swim lessons are great for young children overcoming fear of the water who may not be ready for a group lesson, or more advanced swimmers who would like to work on technique, swimmers who are older or younger than the recommended age range of the group lesson, or anyone who thrives in a one-on-one learning environment.

Question: What do I need to bring to swim lessons?

Answer: Please ensure your child is wearing a well fitting, comfortable swimsuit. Goggles are recommended for Levels 2-5 or if your child does not feel comfortable opening his or her eyes under the water in all levels. Don’t forget a towel or robe and some flip-flops for before and after the lesson. Swimmers with long hair should tie hair back or wear a swim cap. Sunscreen is important.

Question: What if my child cries or is afraid?

Answer: Overcoming fear is part of swim lessons. Our swim instruction staff and pool managers are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. If you need help encouraging your child into the pool ask our staff for assistance. Instructors will encourage your child to join the class in a manor that’s responsive to his/her needs. Sometimes tears can have their root not in fear but in separation anxiety. This is part of the learning process as well. If you feel your child may be experience separation anxiety rather than fear of the water it is best to keep your distance during the lesson. Removing yourself from the child’s sight during the lesson may be required in certain situations. In such cases, the child will usually calm down when the parent is out of view and be able to focus and rely on the teacher for instruction and help.

Question: What if my child is sick?

Answer: If your child has a fever or stomach or digestion problems please keep them home from their lesson. If they have a runny nose or cough swimming does not usually worsen these symptoms. You do not have to alert the pool if your child will miss a lesson due to sickness.

Question: Do you offer make-ups or credits for missed classes?

Answer: We do not offer refunds, credits, or make-ups for missed classes. If your child is unable to attend, we look forward to seeing your child at his/her next scheduled lesson. Consistency is important. Please do your best to regularly bring your child to swim lessons. If we need to cancel a class for reasons within our control, we will offer credits as appropriate.