Learn to Swim at the Oakland Y

We believe that swimming is an essential skill for of all ages. Our swim lesson program provides guidance and instruction tailored to the age and ability of every swimmer.

Our swim lessons are for YMCA of the East Bay members only. Lessons are also offered at our Pleasant Hill and Berkeley branches at different times throughout the year. Members can register for swim lessons at any available branch.

Currently, we’re offering group lessons for kids ages 6 months to 12 year old. We also offer beginner group lessons for teens & adults ages 13+.

Learn more about our levels, session dates, and policies below!

Upcoming Session Dates

Swim lessons run twice a week on a Monday / Wednesday schedule, a Tuesday / Thursday schedule, or once a week on Saturdays. Take a look at our dates, then select a swimming level below to register!

August Sessions

Monday, August 7 - Wednesday, August 30th

Tuesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 31st

Saturday, July 8th - Saturday, August 26th

September Sessions

Monday/Wednesday, September 11th - October 4th

Tuesday/Thursday, September 12th – October 5th

Saturday, September 9th - October 28th

October Sessions

Monday/Wednesday, October 11 – November 1

Tuesday/Thursday, October 10 – November 2

November Sessions

Monday/Wednesday, November 6 – December 6 (no class 11/20, 11/22)

Tuesday/Thursday, November 7 – December 7 (no class 11/21, 11/23)

Saturday, November 4 – December 16 (no class 11/25)

PC1: Combo (6 months to 2 years)

No prior swim lesson experience required. This is a combination class for Shrimp, Perch, and Dolphin students. Parent/guardian (Y member) required in the water with student. Swim diaper required for students who are not fully potty-trained.

Level Objectives: Water acclimation, breath control, submerging, assisted front and back floats, follow cues from instructor and parent, intro to paddling, intro to kicking, and enter and exit water with little to no assistance. For more advanced students: swim to instructor without hesitation, swimming underwater to retrieve submerged objects, pushing off wall into flutter kicks on front and back, unassisted front and back floats, rolling from front to back, and jumping in.

PS1: Pike (Beg. I, Ages 3-5)

No prior swim lesson experience required.

Level objectives: Water acclimation, breath control, submerging, front and back floats, intro to front crawl arms and flutter kicks.

PS2: Eel (Beg. II, Ages 3-5)

Prerequisites: comfortable submerging underwater, floating with minimal help on front and back, knows flutter kicks, pushes off the wall independently.

Level objectives: Independent front & back floats with recovery to standing, flutter kicks in streamline on front, pushes off wall on front and back independently, swims on front with face in the water, and intro to elementary backstroke.

PS3: Ray (Beg. III, Ages 3-5)

Prerequisites: Independent front float (5 seconds), back float (10 seconds), front and back glides with kicks, and combined stroke on front.

Level objectives: Streamline glides on front and back, intro to side breathing, swims combined stroke on front 10-15 feet, elementary backstroke 10-15 feet, and intro to backstroke.

PS4: Starfish (Ages 3-5)

Prerequisites: Streamline glides on front and back, intro to side breathing, combined stroke on front for 10-15 feet, elementary backstroke for 10-15 feet, and intro to backstroke.

Level Objectives: Streamline glide into front crawl, streamline glide into backstroke, front crawl with side breathing for 30 feet, backstroke for 30 feet, elementary backstroke for 30 feet, intro to whip kick (breaststroke kick), whip kick for 15 feet, intro to treading water, treading water 15-30 seconds, and deep water orientation (where depth allows).

Y1: Polliwog (BEG. I, Age 6-12)

No prior swim lesson experience needed.

Level objectives: Water acclimation, breath control, submerging, front and back floats and glides, intro to freestyle and elementary backstroke.

Y2: Guppy (BEG. II, Age 6-12)

Prerequisites: Comfortable submerging, unassisted front and back float (10 seconds), basic freestyle and elementary backstroke (unassisted 10 ft.)

Level objectives: Intro to side-breathing, freestyle with side-breathing, backstroke, elementary backstroke, breaststroke kick, and treading water.

Y3: Minnow (INT. I, Age 6-12)

Prerequisites: Comfortable in deep water, treading water 20-30 seconds, freestyle with side-breathing (15 ft), backstroke (15 ft), breaststroke kick (10 ft).

Level objectives: Freestyle with side-breathing for 15 yards, backstroke for 15 yards, breaststroke for 15 yards, treading water (45-60 seconds).

Y4: Fish (INT. II, Age 6-12)

Prerequisites: Freestyle with side-breathing (15 yards), backstroke (15 yards), breaststroke (15 yards) treading water (45-60 seconds)

Level objectives: Freestyle with bilateral side-breathing (50 yards), Backstroke (50 yards), Breaststroke (25 yards), Butterfly (15 yards).

Y5: Flying Fish (ADV. I, Age 6-12)

Prerequisites: 50 yards freestyle with side breathing, 50 yards backstroke, 25 yards breaststroke, 15 yards butterfly, 15 yards sidestroke, treading water 90 seconds, comfort in deep water.

Level objectives: Stamina and stroke refinement. 100 yards freestyle, 100 yards backstroke, 50 yards breaststroke, 25 yards butterfly, intro to Individual Medley (IM), 25 yards sidestroke, intro to flip turns and sculling, and treading water 2-3 minutes.

Teen / Adult BEG. I, Age 13+

No prior swim experience required

Level objectives: Water acclimation, breath control, front and back floats, into to flutter kicks, intro front crawl

Teen / Adult BEG. II, Age 13+

Prerequisites: Comfortable floating on front and back, submerging face and whole body, gliding on front and back, flutter kicking on front with kickboard, and swimming 5-10 feet of basic freestyle/front crawl.

Level objectives: Developing basic freestyle technique, including side breathing, and introducing the fundamentals of backstroke and treading water.

Important Policies to Note

Refunds will be granted if requested 6 days or more prior to the start of the session. No refunds will be granted after this time period. A refund processing fee will be applied as follows: $10 for a credit card refund, $25 for a check or cash payment refund.

The Y does not offer makeup lessons for missed swim classes. If your child misses class due to injury or illness, you may reach out to the aquatics director to discuss potential credit options. We respectfully request that students remain home if they are sick to protect the health and safety of other students and our staff.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions!

Oakland YMCA
Deedee Lundberg,
Sr. Aquatics Director
(510) 665–3257