Learn to Swim at the Y!

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

Swim Lessons are offered at Downtown Berkeley (indoors), Oakland (indoors), and Pleasant Hill (outdoors) branches at different times throughout the year.

Our swim lessons are for YMCA of the East Bay members only. Members can register for swim lessons at any available branch.

Currently, we're offering group lessons for kids ages 5-12 years old. Take a look at our session dates and program and safety policies below!

Session Dates

Swim lessons run twice a week on a Monday / Wednesday schedule, or a Tuesday / Thursday schedule. Starting in June, lessons will also be available once a week on Saturdays. Take a look at our dates below and see what works for you!

Monday & Wednesday Sessions

  • May 9 – June 1 (no class 5/30)
  • June 6 – June 29
  • July 11 – August 3
  • August 8 – August 31

Tuesday & Thursday Sessions

  • May 10 – June 2
  • June 7 – June 30
  • July 12 – August 4
  • August 9 – September 1

Saturday Sessions

  • June 4 – 25
  • July 9 – July 30
  • August 6 – August 27

Swimming Levels

Registration is open for May & June Sessions! Find the right level for your swimmer below, then select your location to register.

Registration is currently open for May and June sessions, registration for July and August sessions open on June 1.

Polliwog (BEG. I)

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.

Berkeley Registration     Oakland Registration     Pleasant Hill Registration

Guppy (BEG. II)

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.

Berkeley Registration     Oakland Registration     Pleasant Hill Registration

Minnow (INT. I)

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).

Berkeley Registration     Oakland Registration     Pleasant Hill Registration

Fish (INT. II)

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).

Berkeley Registration     Oakland Registration    

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 YMCA of the East Bay has a strict COVID-19 vaccine policy for anyone entering the facility. Swimmers must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination prior to attending their first day of class. Any accompanying adults and children (including younger siblings) must also show proof of vaccination to enter the building. Masks are recommended but not required.

Children under the age of 5 will be NOT allowed inside the YMCA facility at this time as to comply with 100% vaccination policy of members and staff. There are NO exceptions to this policy. A parent/guardian is still required to accompany the registered swimmer into the building. Unaccompanied swim lesson students will not be granted access to the YMCA.

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

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

Pleasant Hill YMCA
Ben Pantner
Aquatics and Family Director
(925) 887–4540