Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons2024-06-18T12:21:07-02:30

At the YMCA, we know the importance of being able to swim, and consider it a critical life skill. Our swimming lessons develop lifelong skills that build your child’s confidence in the water, promote safety in and around the water, and help your child thrive.

Our swimming lessons are a registered program that requires membership, and sessions typically coincide with our seasonal schedules. Our schedules change with the season, demand, and instructor availability. This means typically our schedules change three times throughout the year – Winter/Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Swim Levels Offered at the YMCA


Ages 5 & under

Introduce your child to the aquatic environment with our Parent and Tot classes of Splasher and Bubblers. Instructors help you assist your child to develop comfort in the water and promote water fun through songs and games. Note: parent participation in the water is required for Splasher & Bubbler.

Your child’s love of the water will grow in the Bobber, Floater and Glider levels of Preschool. In this class, participants will be introduced to basic swim skills such as bobbing, floating and gliding. Instructors will work with participants to grow their confidence in the aquatic environment.

In the Diver, Surfer and Jumper levels of Preschool, your child is getting more comfortable in the water. They begin to explore skills such as arm action and side-to-side rolls, and they continue to push their swim distances.

Learn to Swim

Ages 6 & older

The YMCA National Learn to Swim program encourages growth and development as one learns the fundamental swimming skills.

Otter is the first level in this program which introduces skills in a safe and enjoyable environment. During this level, children will be able to perform a variety of swim skills in shallow and deep water, including the basics of the front crawl.

Seal will enable your child to go further in their swimming and abilities by gaining confidence in deep water, working on their rhythmic breathing, and developing their front and back swims.

Dolphin is designed to encourage your child to swim distances as great as 15m using common crawl strokes. At this level aquatic skills are fostered to help maintain surface tension giving them greater confidence in deep water.

Swimmer, the last level in this program, is designed to expand a child’s ability to swim from 15m to 25m using common crawl strokes, encouraging participants to grow as aquatic athletes. It introduces diving, and deep water recovery activities to ensure that the youth are comfortable in all areas of a standard pool.

Star Program

Ages 6 & older

These are the first 3 advanced levels for youth. They bring in a series of new techniques used by lifeguards including breast stroke and eggbeater surface support. The addition of new strokes and techniques will encourage  and develop leadership skills in your child.

Star Leadership

Ages 6 & older

These 3 levels will enhance your child’s overall swimming skills. They will be introduced to the side stroke, and will work on increasing endurance on all their swims. They will also continue their work on the Lifesaving Society’s Canadian Swim Patrol curriculum, tackling tasks such as drowning prevention, object support, tow rescue and surface dive drills.

If you want any information on swim lessons, including available spaces, your child’s current level, how to convert other lessons to the YMCA equivalent, your child’s swimgen number, to report a lesson absence, etc. please send an email to our Aquatics department.

Swimming Lesson Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access my child’s swim report card?2023-10-19T11:25:08-02:30

Your child’s progress report is available on http://swimgen.net/search/evymca. You can get your child’s participant number from the Front Desk at any time. Please note that progress reports are typically only filled out when a level has been completed, or at the end of a session. The best way to check on your child’s progress is always to speak directly with their instructor or with the Aquatics Director.

Can extra spectators come?2023-10-19T11:24:48-02:30

Yes, there is no limit on spectators permitted during swim lessons. Please note that anyone who is 16 years or older, even if just watching, will be required to show government issued photo ID and sign in at the front desk every visit.

What happens if we don’t have our membership cards with us?2023-10-19T11:24:27-02:30

If you forget your cards, please stop at the front desk to be manually signed in.

Do we need to scan our cards every time?2023-10-19T11:24:12-02:30

Yes, we need to know who is in the building at all times. For this reason, your child must scan their card every visit. If the parent/guardian has a Non-Member Access Pass, that must also be scanned every visit. If the parent/guardian does not have a pass, they must show their photo ID and sign in every visit.

Do I have to show ID every time I come?2023-10-19T11:23:54-02:30

We provide “Non-Member Access Passes” for parents and guardians who bring children to lessons on a regular basis. For these passes we verify your photo ID, and then create a profile in our system, complete with your picture. You will be provided your own scanning card that you will be able to use during lessons. For those who do not come regularly, a photo ID will be required for every visit in the facility.

Where do I go during my child’s lessons?2023-10-19T11:23:39-02:30

There is a separate viewing area on the pool deck for spectators. Please note that no outdoor footwear is allowed in the aquatics center, so shoes must be removed before coming on to the pool deck.

Am I required to stay during my child’s lessons?2023-10-19T11:23:24-02:30

Children under 10 years old must have a parent/guardian who is 16 years or older remain in the building with them for the duration of the lesson, in accordance with our child protection policy. Children who are 10 and older are permitted to be in the facility on their own.

Do we get to make up missed swimming lessons?2023-10-19T11:23:07-02:30

No, we are unable to provide time for make up lessons. This includes lessons missed due to personal reasons, as well as lessons missed due reasons outside our control (bad weather, pool closures, etc.)

What should I do if I know my child will be absent?2023-10-19T11:19:58-02:30

If you know your child is going to miss a lesson, you can email swim.lessons@ev.ymca.ca to let us know so they will be written in as excused. After multiple unexcused absences, we will remove your child from lessons to make the space available for others.

Can I choose who my child’s instructor is?2023-10-19T11:19:36-02:30

No, instructors are assigned to classes after registration.

Do they need goggles for swim lessons?2023-10-19T11:08:12-02:30

Goggles are not a requirement for lessons. If you do decide to purchase them, we recommend goggles without a nose attachment so they can learn proper breathing techniques underwater without relying on the goggles.

What if my child’s birthday is shortly after the program starts?2023-10-19T11:07:46-02:30

If your child is going to have a birthday within 3 months of the lessons start date that would put them in the next level, you are allowed to register them for that level early. Otherwise they will be moved naturally once they hit that age.

Do I need a membership if I have to get in the water?2023-10-19T11:07:14-02:30

No. As it is a requirement on our part to have you in the water with your child in Lil Dipper 0-3, only the child needs to have a membership.

Am I required to get in the water with my child?2023-10-19T11:06:50-02:30

No, only our Lil Dipper 0-3 class allows a parent/guardian in the water with a child.

What are class sizes for group lessons?2023-10-19T11:06:28-02:30

Class sizes vary depending on the age, with younger groups having smaller instructor to participant ratios. Typically you can expect anywhere from 4 to 15 students in a class.

My child is young but doesn’t require me in the water?2023-10-19T11:06:01-02:30

Children 3 and older will be in the water on their own. Depending on their abilities, they may be in a life jacket, on a tot dock (raises them in the water so they are able to touch bottom and be above water line) or in the tot pool.

My child is 3 years old, do they go in the 0-3 swim group or 3-5 swim group?2023-10-19T11:05:24-02:30

Those who are 3 years old can go in either group based on parents discretion and how comfortable they feel their child will be in the water: the 0-3 group will have a parent in the water with them, the 3-5 group will be in the water on their own.

What swimming level should I register my child for?2023-12-08T10:32:04-03:30

Our swim program is divided by age, and then each age group is subdivided again based on current skill level. Our Preschool program is for ages 0-3 and ages 3-5. Our Learn to Swim program is for anyone that is 6 years or older. Once all four levels of Learn to Swim are complete, they will progress to our Star program.

How much does swimming lessons cost?2023-10-19T11:04:24-02:30

Group lessons are included in the cost of a membership. Private lessons (one-on-one) are a separate fee that does not require membership.

Do I need to register for swimming lessons?2023-10-19T11:03:45-02:30

Yes, all swim lessons (both group and private) are a registered program. Typically we run registration in January for Winter/Spring, again in June for Summer sessions, and in September for Fall. Contact Membership Services for the most updated information on registration for the current session.

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