It’s that time of year: parents are looking for swim lessons. Many swimming pools, while open by reservation, are still working out if, how, and when they’ll offer swim lessons. We’ve rounded up some of the swimming schools and pools currently offering lessons to children.
Thank you to our sponsor, Patti’s Swim School in Castro Valley. Founded by Patti O’Brien, mother of six children, Patti’s Swim School reflects her insightful parent perspective on what is important to and for children of all ages and their parents.
California recognizes swim lessons as essential. Drowning prevention classes, including swim lessons with certified instructors, are permitted in indoor and outdoor swimming pools in all tiers as they are deemed essential.
If you don’t see your local favorite, it’s likely because of staffing and logistical issues. The schools that are open are limiting registrations to comply with Covid-19 protocols, so be aware it may be difficult to find a spot unless you’re flexible on days and times. Hopefully, in the next few months, more pools will begin to open up registration.
East Bay swimming programs that will help teach your child how to swim
We arranged our East Bay swimming lesson list roughly from the South to the North.
Swim Lessons in Castro Valley
Patti’s Swim School (Castro Valley)
Swim lessons at this private pool are effective, efficient, and fun! At Patti’s Swim School, students are instructed in a supportive, compassionate, focused environment with lots of individualized attention and success in learning and mastering new swimming skills.
A warm saline pool and low teacher-to-student ratios are highlights at this swimming school in Castro Valley. Patti’s has developmentally appropriate classes for ages 5-months-old through adults and specializes in students with anxiety disorder, learning differences, and Autism. Professional instructors are highly trained and effective. Register for a free trial class by calling (510) 331 – 6610 or signing up online. Find out more >
Fun fact: Swimming is fantastic for brain health! The bilateral cross-patterning movement of swimming helps cognition, eases learning, and benefits overall academic performance.
Fremont Swim Lessons
American Swim Academy (Fremont)
Swimmers as young as 4 months old learn through a structured, consistent program that builds progressively through basic swimming techniques to more advanced and challenging skills. Five East Bay locations including Newark in the (510). Find out more >
Happy Fish Swim School (Fremont or Livermore)
Swim lessons for water babies, children, and adults. They offer a free trial class for all new students. Find out more >
SafeSplash Swim School (Fremont or San Jose)
Super close to Rockin’ Jump, this swim school offers lessons for babies through adults in session-based classes. The Fremont location is currently closed but hopes to open soon. The San Jose location is open. Visit website.
Swimming Lessons in Alameda, CA
AquaTech Swim School, Alameda
AquaTech has parent/child lessons and bigger kid lessons, available on both a perpetual (for a monthly rate) and drop-in basis. Perpetual lessons are ongoing year-round; a child can join at any time. Drop-in lessons are also available for those who cannot commit to a full set of lessons. Note that there is usually a waitlist for these lessons. Private lessons are also available. See details >
Swim Lessons in Oakland
Oakland Hills Tennis Club
Nestled in the Oakland Hills, the Oakland Hills Tennis Club offers an outdoor pool with 30-minute private, semi-private, and private classes. They also have a swim team. Pricing is different for members/non-members. You’ll want to call or email to arrange for registration. Find out more >
Ohana Aquatics (Oakland)
This independent swim school in a tranquil forest setting offers sessions for babies and toddlers, plus 8-session group and private lessons for all levels and ages. Sign-up online and they’ll send you an email with available days and times. No drop-in sessions are available at this time. More information here >
Swimming Lessons in Berkeley
Swimming lessons at UC Berkeley
The Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area offers lessons for babies, toddlers, and big kids as part of Cal Recreation. Babies from 6 months to 3 years will get in the pool with their parents. Open for 2021 summer registration. More information here >
King Swim Center, North Berkeley
Great value to be had at this pool with the Barracudas swim team. Swimmers 5-18 (new swimmers welcome) will receive coaching within a stable monthly cohort twice a week for $120 per month. Current sign-ups are first come first served, with preference given to current Barracudas. So, very limited space at the moment. More info >
Swimming Lessons in El Cerrito
El Cerrito Swim Center
Offers classes in an outdoor saline pool. Includes opportunities for infants and preschoolers as well as big kids. The class schedule and registration info are managed by the City of El Cerrito. Spring and Summer sessions will be released soon (check the first of the month). There will be very limited spaces this season, so sign up early to reserve your spot. More information here >
Favorite swim lessons in the (925)
Fellow parents tell us that for those whose schedule permits a longer commute, it may be worthwhile to seek swimming lessons in warmer parts of the East Bay. Carol recommends Harriet Plummer Aquatic School in Lafayette. She also likes American Swim Academy with facilities in Dublin, Walnut Creek, and Livermore. Another option we’ve heard about is the British Swim School, with locations in Walnut Creek and Concord (do you think they teach kids how to swim on the other side of the pool??).
There are still many public and private swimming pools not yet offering swim lessons in 2021. We strive to update this article when new information becomes available.
Thank you again to our sponsor, Patti’s Swim School in Castro Valley.
More East Bay pools that have historically offered baby and/or youth swimming lessons:
Albany Aquatic Center
City of Oakland community pools
Emeryville Community Pool
Encinal Swim Center, Alameda,
Montclair Swim Club, Oakland
Mills College, Oakland
Piedmont Community Pool Swim School
Roberts Pool, Oakland
Richmond Swim Center
Canyon Swim School, El Sobrante
YMCAs in Downtown Oakland, Richmond, and Berkeley