Not all swim classes are created equal

Learning how to swim is just one of the many life lessons parents need to teach their kids when they are young, but simply having a neighbor who used to work as a lifeguard provide instruction or signing up for a class at the local community center may not always be the best option.

Just as parents interview pediatricians and get references for preschools and babysitters, research also needs to be done when selecting a swim class for kids.

The United States Swim School Association recommends that parents consider the following when selecting a swim school or lesson program for their children:

1. Visit the Swim School Before Enrolling

Parents are advised to take the time to visit the swim school or swim program prior to enrolling their child in lessons.  Watch to see how the children in those lessons are responding to their lesson and to the teachers.

2. Inquire About Instructor Certifications

It is also important for parents to ask if instructors are trained for the skill level and age of their child. Not only do swim instructors need to be certified in CPR and have gone through swim teacher training courses, there is also standard curriculum that needs to be taught depending on a child’s age and skill level.

3. Choose In-Water Instruction

Generally, parents will want to seek out a swim class where the teacher is in the water interacting with students versus providing instruction from the pool deck.

4. Skill vs. Age

Look for a program where the curriculum builds as that child’s skill level grows. Classes that place a child in lessons based strictly on age rather than skill should be avoided.

5. Weigh the Pros & Cons

Create a comparison chart or pro and con list for the programs being considered. Decide what will be the most effective learning environment for your child and make notes right after visiting the school to determine if that particular program fits your child’s needs while it is still fresh in your mind.


To find a USSSA-affiliated swim school near you, or for details on becoming a member of the nation’s leading swim school organization, visit:

About Guest Blogger, The US Swim School Association

US Swim School Association (USSSA) began in 1988 to fill a gap in the swim school industry. USSSA has become the largest and preeminent swim school association in the country with over 400 members providing swim and water safety instruction to over 500,000 students each year. Swim schools receive invaluable benefits as USSSA members, receiving the latest training in water safety, swim instruction methods and tools, invitations to annual conferences, and many other benefits that help establish and build each individual business. USSSA has partnered with Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation for its official water safety program. Through USSSA, parents and students are provided with a reliable and trustworthy resource when searching for a swim school and can rest assured they have chosen a top school when they choose a USSSA affiliated location. For more information, visit