Learn How to Swim at the Y

The Y strives to help all ages learn how to swim, so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills needed to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for healthy living.

We’re phasing back in group swim lessons with our Swim Basics program. With the limited capacity available in our pools as recommended by the Governor’s Healthy Washington Plan and as we adjust our operations to meet safety protocols, elements of our group lessons may look and feel different than they did previously. We continuously assess and adjust our programs to keep staff and participants safe while also meeting the needs of our community.

Register for Group Swim Lessons

Please select the branch location where you would like to attend the group swim lesson to start the registration process.

Know Before You Go

  • Please arrive on time, dressed in swim clothes, freshly showered, and ready to swim. 
  • All YMCA members and program participants must check-in at the membership check-in area. Upon entry, you will be asked to review and verbally respond to our COVID-19 symptom assessment. Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to stay home. 
  • All swimmers and guests must sign a facility waiver agreement. 
  • We ask that parents escort their swimmer to the pool area where they will place their personal belongings in their designated space, and check-in with our aquatic staff for swim lessons. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’re phasing back in group swim lessons in April with our Swim Basics program for students in stages 1 to 3. With the limited capacity available in our pools as recommended by the Governor’s Healthy Washington Plan and as we adjust our operations to meet safety protocols, elements of our group lessons may look and feel different than they did previously. We continuously assess and adjust our programs to keep staff and participants safe while also meeting the needs of our community.

1. What is Swim Basics?
Swim Basics, or stages 1 to 3, is a swim lesson program for ages 3 to 16 that focuses on learning basic swim skills, improving water safety, and building confidence in the water. Students will practice two key swim sequences that are the foundation for a safe swimming experience: swim, float, swim and jump, push, turn, grab.

2. When is registration?
Registration will open on the 15th of each month at 6:00am for lessons starting in the following month. For example, April lessons will open for registration on March 15.

3. How long are group swim lessons?
Lessons will be offered for 30 minutes in length twice a week for a month. Our first session in April will be a shorter two-week session. Fees will adjust based upon total number of classes offered in a session.

4. What can a supervising adult expect when accompanying their swimmer in the pool?
For group swim lesson participants in our Swim Basics program, a supervising adult must be in the water. The supervising adult will lead the swimmer through skills as directed by the swim instructor from a safe physical distance. The supervising adult must be of the same household as the child or teen they're supervising. 

Swim Instructor in the pool with a face shield on

5. What are your safety protocols for swimming lessons?
There is nothing more important to us than the safety of you, our members, our staff, and our volunteers. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local health agencies, and public officials has been critical as we've updated our policies and reopened or facilities and programs.

Students will need to be accompanied by a supervising adult from the same household while a YMCA instructor leads lessons and activities from a safe physical distance. Swim Instructors will be wearing face shields throughout the duration of swim lesson.

Each lesson will include up to 6 child/adult participant pairs. Child/adult participant pairs will stay at a physical distance from others and not cross paths during the lesson.

Lifeguards will be wearing face masks at all times. Staff will also be disinfecting all touch points and equipment before every lesson. Instructional equipment will be limited to kick boards, kick sticks, and pull buoys and will be disinfected between users. Staff are put through a health screen before each shift using state and local guidance. We’ve also improved air quality in our buildings, including limiting air re-circulation and maximizing fresh air intake.

6. Is it safe for people to swim in shared water?
Per the CDC, the virus cannot be transmitted through properly treated water. Our pool chemicals are always maintained within the required ranges set by the health department. Should our water ever go outside of that range, we do close down the pool until the water is safe to swim in again.

7. Does my child need to wear a mask while in the water?
We ask participants not to wear masks in the water as it presents a safety hazard.

8. How will swim instructors manage such a wide range of ages from preschool to teen?
Our instructors are trained to teach all ages and skill levels. In this format of Swim Basics lessons, the supervising adult will also be able to assist with the skills that students are learning.

9. Do I need to be a Y member to sign up for group swim lessons?
Yes, at this time, group swim lessons are only available to Y members.

10. Can locker rooms or showers be used for swim lesson participants?
Swimmers will have full access to locker rooms and/or family changing rooms. Please utilize whichever space best fits your family’s needs.

11. How many parents or guardians are allowed on the pool deck?
To limit our building capacity, we are limiting the number of guests on the deck to one parent or guardian per swim lesson student.

12. Why are you only offering Swim Basics Group Lessons?
With the limited capacity available in our pools as recommended by the Governor’s Healthy Washington Plan, we’re focusing on offering basic water safety skills programs for stages 1 to 3 in advance of the summer months. We encourage more advanced swimmers in stages 4 to 6 who want to elevate their skills to sign up for Private or Semi-Private Swim Lessons.

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With a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and well-being, and supporting our neighbors, your membership will not just bring about meaningful change in yourself, but also in your community. 

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