Sonoma County Family YMCA

1111 College Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 545-9622

swim lessons

FUNtwo girls in swim suits WITH A SPLASH OF CONFIDENCE

See our Current Group Swim Lessons Schedule here!

For more than 160 years, the YMCA has nurtured potential and united communities across America to create lasting, meaningful change. Everything the Y does is in service of building a better us. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to teach youth, teens, and adults to swim, so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills they need to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for staying healthy.

Y swim instructors are nationally certified. Their training includes CPR, AED, First Aid, and Oxygen Administration.

Swim lessons provide important life skills that could save a life and will benefit students for a lifetime.

The Y Swim Lesson Program focuses on 5 key components consisting of personal safety, personal growth, stroke development, water sports and games, and rescue components. Participants are taught in a non-competitive environment. Each child will progress at his or her own pace.

Because each level builds on skills taught in previous levels, it is important to place your child in the correct level. It is also important not to progress the child to the next level until he or she is physically and mentally ready and can perform the skills at his or her current level proficiently. Some levels are more difficult than others and may take several sessions to learn all the skills necessary to move to the next level.

If currently enrolled, the participant will receive a progress report from the instructor the week prior to registration, informing the participant if he/she must repeat the level or if he/she may move to the next level.

Swim Lesson Procedure & Guidelines

  • Classes must be paid in full at the time of registration.
  • Online registration is available by visiting our website.
  • Priority registration is given to YMCA Facility Members.
  • Requests for refunds or credits must be submitted at least 72 hours before the swim class is to begin. All refunds will incur a processing fee (Minimum $10).  All class transfers/credits will incur a $5 processing fee.  Credits must be used within (1) year of the date of approval.
  • All swim participants must shower in the locker room prior to entering the pool.
  • Participants may not enter the water until the instructor announces that the lesson has begun, and must exit once the lesson is complete.
  • Wear a standard bathing suit; cut-offs and t-shirts are not allowed in the pool.
  • Bring a towel and a lock.
  • For the safety of all, obey all posted pool rules.
  • Due to the limited pool deck space, please view lessons taught in the large pool through the observation window in the lobby.
  • If the child is under 3 years of age or is not toilet-trained, he/she must wear an approved swim diaper.
  • Adults experiencing incontinence will need to wear an approved swim diaper.

Every day, children learn the basics of swimming at the Y or enhance their skills with our progressive lessons that turn beginners into experts.  And our kids are having fun, being healthy, learning safety, and building confidence all at the same time! The Y ensures a low instructor-to-student ratio to make sure your kids get plenty of personal attention. And with our wide selection of classes and schedules, you’re sure to find one that fits your child’s needs and your schedule. 

Not sure which class to enroll them in?  Check the helpful chart.

Swim Levels graphic

Swim Starters Aquatic Program

Accompanied by a parent, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.  We define parents broadly to include all adults with primary responsibility for raising children, including biological parents, adoptive parents, guardians, step-parents, or any type of parenting relationship.

Stage Descriptions:

A / Water Discovery:   Introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment.

B / Water Exploration:  Focuses on exploring body positions, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

Swim Basics for Preschool, School Age, Teen, and Adult:

Students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills: swim, float, swim and jump, turn, grab.

In Water Acclimation, Water Movement, and Water Stamina, students are taught the recommended skills for all to have around water including safe water habits, underwater exploration, and how to swim to safety and exit in the event of falling into a body of water. Activities, games, and drills, geared to reinforce learning, are utilized heavily as students progress in this skill-based approach to swimming.

Stage Descriptions:

1 / Water Acclimation:  Increases comfort with underwater exploration and introduces basic self-rescue skills performed with assistance.

2 / Water Movement:  Encourages forward movement in the water and basic self-rescue skills performed independently.

3 / Water Stamina:  Develops intermediate self-rescue skills performed at longer distances than in previous stages.

Swim Strokes for Preschool, School Age, Teen, and Adult:

Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

In Stroke Introduction, Stroke Development and Stroke Mechanics, swimmers are introduced to the four competitive swimming strokes as well as rescue skills, and healthy lifestyle habits.

Stage Descriptions:

4 / Stroke Introduction:  Introduces basic stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and reinforces water safety through treading water and elementary backstroke.

5 / Stroke Development:  Introduces breast-stroke and butterfly and reinforces water safety through treading water and sidestroke.

6 / Stroke Mechanics:  Refines stroke technique on all major competitive strokes and encourages swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle.


young boy in swim trunks

  1. You may sign up online or in person at designated times.
  2. Classes must be paid in full at the time of registration.
  3. Priority registration is given to YMCA Members.
  4. Requests for refunds or credits must be submitted at least 72 hours before the swim class is to begin. An appeal to this policy due to exceptional circumstances only will be considered by the Aquatics Director. All refunds will incur a $10 processing fee. Class transfers will incur a $5 processing fee.


USA Swimming Foundation   Make a Splash logo

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 Session Name

Session Start Date

Session End Date

Facility Member Registration

Program Member Registration

Non-Member Registration

Registration End Date


January 7th

February 3rd

December 31st

January 2nd

January 3rd

January 6th


February 4th

March 3rd

January 28th

January 29th

January 30th

February 3rd


*2wk session*

March 4th

March 17th

February 25th

February 26th

February 27th

March 3rd

Spring Break: March 18th-24th –No Swim Lessons: Safety Around Water Week

Black Out Week: March 25th-31st (Makeup Lessons Scheduled ONLY)


April 1st

April 28th

March 25th

March 26th

March 27th

March 31st

Black Out Week- April 29th-May 5th

May *No Class on Memorial Day*

May 6th

June 2nd

April 29th

April 30th

May 1st

May 4th


June 3rd

June 30th

May 28th

May 29th

May 30th

June 1st

July *No class on the 4th*

July 1st

July 28th

June 24th

June 25th

June 26th

June 29th

Black Out Week: July 29th-August 4th


August 5th

September 1st

July 29th

July 30th

July 31st

August 3rd

September *No class on Labor Day*

September 2nd

September 29th

August 26th

August 27th

August 28th

August 31st

October *No class on Oct 25th *

September 30th

October 27th

September 23rd

September 24th

September 25th

September 28th

Black Out Week: October 28th-November 3rd (Makeup lessons for Oct 25 will be held on Nov 1)


3 week session

November 4th

December 24th

October 28th

October 29th

October 30th

November 2nd


3 week session

December 2nd

December 22nd

November 25th

November 26th

November 27th

November 30th

January 2020

January 6th

February 2nd

December 16th

December 17th

December 18th

December 21st


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