Group Swim Lessons | YMCA of Honolulu | Honolulu, Hawai‘i |


Swim Lessons

Group Swim Lessons

At the Y, swimming is a life skill. We offer a wide selection of parent & child, preschool, school age, teen, and adult swim lessons that build strong and confident swimmers. Welcoming kids and adults of all ages and abilities, our program offers a clear progression track to monitor achievement, while every lesson emphasizes personal safety around water.

Our Swim Lesson Curriculum

For Parent & Child (Ages 6 Months-35 Months)

This program is a water orientation class designed for parent* and child participation. The class encourages the bond of trust between parent and child and teaches parents how to guide and supervise their children around the water. The child will be exposed to basic movements.



Accompanied by their parent*, infants/toddlers are introduced to the aquatic environment through exploration and enjoy themselves while learning about the water.


Parents work with their infant/toddler to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

*At the Y, we define parent broadly to include all adults with primary responsibility for raising children, including guardians, stepparents, grandparents, or any other type of parenting relationship.

For Preschool (Ages 3-5 Years) and Youth (Ages 6-12 Years)

Preschool: The preschool swim program is designed to help children progress and build elementary swimming and safety skills. Children are placed in small groups with YMCA trained instructors. Class emphasis is on developing the coordination, endurance, and self-confidence of the preschooler.

Youth: The progressive swim program is designed to help children grow personally and develop strokes and safety skills. Emphasis is on endurance, personal safety, skill development, and lifesaving techniques.


Learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills:

  • Swim, float, swim—sequencing front glide, roll, back float, roll, front glide, and exit
  • Jump, push, turn, grab


Develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water—laying the foundation for future progress in swimming.


Focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water.


Learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into a body of water and introduction to rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action.


Learn additional water safety skills, build stroke technique, and develop skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.


Develop stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and learn the breaststroke and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke.


Work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.


Refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.


Advance training to improve or perfect swim strokes, technique, endurance and speed for sports, competitive swim and fitness.


Enhance overall swimming skills and build up even more endurance to add to a healthier lifestyle. Learn more about various aquatic sports such as water polo, snorkeling, diving, and synchronized swimming. While students can learn more about fun aquatic activities, instructors will also teach valuable lessons like diving safety and how to use clothing to float.


Increase endurance in the competitive strokes as well as improving overall swimming skills. Develop skills related to competitive swimming like flip turns, starts, and finishes. Instructors will also teach valuable lessons like how to use a pace clock and how to read a workout.

For Teens & Adults (Ages 13 Years+)

Teen and adult swim lessons are for those individuals who wish to learn to swim or those who want to improve their technique. Classes have a low student-to-instructor ratio, which allows for personal instruction in each class. Each level is comprised of five elements: personal safety, skill development, personal growth, water sports/games and rescue.

Find Your Swim Level

If your child is not currently enrolled in a swim lesson class or you’re not sure what stage your child should be enrolled in:

  • Download our Swim Lesson Selector as a Guide
  • Request an appointment for Swim Lesson Level Testing:
    A Swim Test is recommended for all new students (ages 12 and under) except for those entering into a Level 1 - Water Acclimation Stage (Pike or Jellyfish). Adults do not need to be tested.

Register For Your Location

Registration for the October to December Swim Session will be open on Monday, September 13 at 8:30am:

Helpful tips as classes fill up within minutes!

  • Fastest Method of Registration: Online
  • Log in to your account ahead of time and have your class list ready (including alternatives if you can't get your 1st choice)
  • Know what level of swim your child should be in: if your child is in the current swim session, make sure you receive a progress report
  • If needed, schedule a swim test prior to registration
  • Applying for financial assistance? Submit your request as soon as possible. The amount awarded is based on availability of financial assistance funds.
  • Any questions? Contact the Call Center (808-678-4296, Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm) prior to Monday, September 13
Kaimuki Leeward Mililani
Nu'uanu Windward

Need help using our registration software? Review these guides:

Swim Lesson Rates

Group Lessons
Must be purchased by session package. The total price will depend on how many classes are in a session package. The number of classes per session package vary from 6-13 depending on Branch schedule format.
(Per Class)
Member Rate
(Per Class)
6 months to 12 years: 30-Minute Class
13 years +: 45-Minute Class
$18 $14.50

Financial Assistance

We provide Financial Assistance to the extent possible, based on available funds, to those in need through the generosity of our donors. Please complete an application for the location you would like to enroll.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which YMCA Branches are offering Group Swim Lessons?
  • Kaimuki-Wai‘alae
  • Leeward
  • Mililani
  • Nu‘uanu
  • Windward

All YMCA Branches offer heated pools. Nu'uanu, Windward, and Kaimuki have saline pools.

What can I expect and what do I bring?
  • Arrival Time: Plan on arriving no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your scheduled class time. Some facilities will have a separate entrance for the pool area.
  • What to Wear:
    • Wear a mask at all times while in the facility, except when in the pool.  Masks are no longer required outdoors at the Y.
    • Be dressed in swim attire prior to entering the facility. Currently locker rooms are not available at all branch locations to comply with State safety and social distancing guides. While some facilities do have changing stalls available, to make the most of your time, you should come prepared to swim.
    • With the exception of those children who need to change from swim diapers, we ask that students arrive in their swim suits.  Immediately after class, please wrap your child in a towel and exit the facility.
    • Parents/Guardians may assist your child in putting on a flotation belt (if needed).
  • What to Bring: Towel and use of goggles is recommended.
  • Shower Before and After Lesson: On deck showers are available before and after lessons.
  • Restroom Usage: Please remember to take your child to the restroom before lessons begin.
  • Where to sit during swim lessons: We provide limited seating on/around our pool deck for parent/guardian observation of swim lessons. We ask that swim lessons observers remain in our designated area and practice social distancing with others at all times. Please check with your YMCA branch location for viewing guidelines for swim lessons.
  • If you or your child is not feeling well: Please refrain from coming to the Y. Give us a call to notify the branch aquatics department of your absence.

Can I go into the pool with my child during their swim lesson?

In general, we encourage children in preschool levels and above to participate in swim lessons independent of their parent/guardian. We encourage parents/guardians to observe your child's progress from the designated viewing area. However, if your child has diverse abilities or special needs which may require a parent/aide's presence in the water, please contact your Y branch location to discuss

What are the safety and sanitation procedures in place for swim lessons?
  • Masks:
    • Masks are optional outdoors, but are still required when indoors.
  • Social Distancing:
    • The Group Swim max ratio is 1 instructor:6 swimmers, while the Parent/Child max ratio is 1 instructor:12 pairs of parent/child. Participants will be spaced out/staggered while waiting their turn.
    • Instructors will utilize various teaching techniques and aids to allow for safe physical distancing. Novice swimmers may require closer physical supervision.
    • We provide limited seating on/around our pool deck for parent/guardian observation of swim lessons. We ask that swim lessons observers remain in our designated area and practice social distancing with others at all times. Please check with your YMCA branch location for viewing guidelines for swim lessons.
  • Cleaning and Sanitation: All equipment is sanitized after use. All high touch surfaces and pool decks are cleaned and sanitized frequently. The YMCA Branch is deep cleaned daily.
  • Staff and Instructor Safety Training: All YMCA staff have been trained on safety and sanitation procedures. In addition, all swim instructors have completed training that covers specific adjustments for swim lesson safety in:
    • Social Distancing
    • Teaching techniques that allow for maximum distancing
    • COVID mitigation practices
  • Parent/Guardian Observation of Swim Lessons:
    • We require 1 parent/guardian to remain in the viewing area for the duration of swim lessons.  This guideline is a safety standard and ensures a parent/guardian can escort to and from the restroom facilities if needed.
What is your cancellation policy, and who do I call if I have to cancel a swim lesson?

Refunds & Credits

  1. In the event the YMCA cancels a program prior to the start date of the program, a full refund (or credit upon request), will be issued. The YMCA reserves the right to cancel any class due to low enrollment.
  2. In the event a member/participant withdraws either prior to the start date of the program or on the first day of the program and requests a refund, a 30% service fee (up to a maximum of $50) will be applied to each registration that is being withdrawn. A refund or pro-rated refund (for withdrawals on the first day of program) will be issued upon receipt of written intent to withdraw. Upon request, credits or pro-rated credits can be issued instead of refunds with no assessment of service fees.
  3. Refunds or credits may not be given after the first day of program. If the participant misses a class for any reason, credit/refund will NOT be given even if a doctor's note is presented.

Class Make-Up Policy

If the YMCA cancels a class, we will try to schedule a make-up. If a make-up class cannot be scheduled, the value of that class will be given in the form of a credit. This does not include classes cancelled due to inclement weather.

Is it safe to swim?

Yes, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) issued guidance that it is safe to swim as the virus cannot be spread via chlorinated and maintained water. Our pools meet or exceed the health standards recommended by the CDC and local authorities.

Here is a link to CDC about pools and COVID-19.