Choosing a swim lesson program for your family is the first step in introducing your kids to the water, helping them stay safer and opening the door to a world of fun and fitness. Here are the questions you should ask, when interviewing a potential lessons provider. Quality programs will be happy to answer your questions, either via phone or in person.
Questions to Ask:
1. Can you provide us with references from other participants?
2. Can we visit the facility to observe a class? (It's a good idea to bring your child/children)
During Your Visit, ask yourself:
a. Are the children and instructors smiling/having fun?
b. Do all children get equal attention from the instructor?
c. Does the instructor keep his/her eyes on the children at all times?
d. Is the facility clean and the water clear?
3. Ask about the skills progression…is it logical and safe?
4. How do you certify/train your staff?
5. How long is each class? (Lessons usually range in length from 25-45 minutes, depending on the age of the child)
6. How many classes are in a session? (The USA Swimming Foundation recommends at least 8)
7. How many sessions does the average child take?
8. What skills are learned in each level?
9. What is the student to teacher ratio? (We recommend it be less than 6:1)
10. How are children assigned to groups/classes? By age? By ability?
11. How are parents involved (in the water) and/or where do they view the lessons (on the pool deck, behind a glass window, etc)?
12. What is the program’s absence/make-up policy?
You might consider a few other factors based on your family's preferences:
1. Do we prefer group or private lessons?
2. How warm is the water? Many children acclimate more quickly in a warm water setting
3. How far is it from our home?
4. What is the cost of the lessons?
5. What curriculum is used, and who is the lessons provider? Some well-known groups include the American Red Cross, YMCA, SwimAmerica, Starfish etc.*
*Note: USA Swimming's Club Finder lists "Make a Splash Local Partner" providers. These providers use a curriculum that has been approved by USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Foundation. Click here to find one near you!