- What is the name of the instructor for my child’s class?
Unfortunately we are not able to supply the name of the instructors prior to the start of classes. Instructors are not assigned to classes until we see the need based on enrollment numbers etc.
- Why does my child not have the same instructor from week to week?
We do our very best to have your child get their instruction from the same teacher each week. We understand some children prefer the consistency of the same teacher each class, however as life would have it sometimes our staff also have family or work events conflicts. That being said, it is often a good thing to get a fresh perspective on your child’s weaknesses and progress. Sometimes simply having a new teacher can actually help your child. A different teacher may communicate ideas that can resonate with your child in a different way.
- Can I switch my child’s swim class once the session starts?
Yes typically we can accommodate changing classes if a child is not in the proper level class, or if your schedule has changed. However, we can only move a child to a new class if that class is not already filled.
- Can I make up a missed class?
No we do not offer make-up lessons. Our sessions run consecutively with no break in between therefore there is no time to offer make-up classes. Additionally, within the current sessions we cannot allow students to show up at other class times for “make-ups” as we need to keep classes consistent and within teacher/student ratios.
- Can I sign up (late) after a session has already begun?
Sign-ups take place two weeks prior to the start of a session however we do accept late sign ups during the first two week of the session, but the remaining classes ARE NOT prorated the full fee is charged. After the first two weeks all class registrations are closed.
- Are classes pro-rated?
No. Swim classes are NOT pro-rated. We kindly ask that all those wanting to take group swim lessons please be sure to sign up during our two “sign up weeks” that occur between the end of one session and the start of the next. This allows us to prepare up to date rosters and plan for teachers. Full members get two weeks to register, program members get the second of those two weeks to register.
- What happens if I am late for class?
If you are late for class your child can still join in for the remainder of the class but we do not offer make-up classes for late attendance.
- What do I need to provide for my child for swim classes?
Typically we ask that other than a bathing suit that your child come prepared for class with a towel, non-slip water shoes or flip flops etc., and a swim diaper for babies and non-potty trained toddlers.
Goggles: Goggles can cause a great number of issues for young children. They are not recommended for babies and toddlers, and for children in levels 1-3 they should only be as needed. Goggles are needed in levels 4, 5, and 6. PLEASE be sure to have your child’s goggles adjusted and ready to wear, as I am sure you will agree, it is not fair to have an instructor use precious class time adjusting children’s goggles.
Swim Shirts/Rash Guards: We recommend that parents avoid placing additional clothing on your children. SWIM SHIRTS ARE DISCOURAGED AT ALL AGES! Learning to float, balance and swim in the water is hard work and the more material your child is wearing the more weighted down they become. Shirts cause even more drag as your child progresses into swimming laps. Swim shirts/rash guards are meant to prevent sunburn and rash from sand etc. Thankfully none of this is an issue for an indoor swimming pool. (Additionally, the fashionable skirted, or tutu inspired girls suits are not recommended for lessons).
- When can I get a swim evaluation or swim test?
You can get a swim evaluation to see what level swim class is appropriate for your child. Simply call our aquatics department to schedule a time.Swim test are available on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays at 4:30 and 7:30 pm as well as Saturdays at 12:30 pm. If there is an extra lifeguard available when you are here at the Y it might also be possible to do a swim test on the spot. As I’m sure you can understand though, we cannot take a lifeguard off a guard stand to conduct swim tests. All swim tests at the Lansdale branch are conducted in the Lap or Demming pools. They are not conducted in the Martin Pool.
- Do I have to be in the pool or pool area with my child?
YES! Please refer to our pool policies for children 16 and under:https://www.northpennymca.org/new-swim-guidelines-ensure-safety/If your child is taking a swim lesson we prefer you stay close however if you must leave the immediate area please be sure to be on time to meet your child at the conclusion of class.
- Will I be contacted if I am placed on the wait list and a spot opens up?
Yes we do our best to contact anyone that has been placed on a swim class wait list.
- What are the teacher ratios for swim lessons/how many children per instructor? How large is my child’s class?
Teacher to student ratios vary depending on the age level and the skill level being taught. Generally parent/child classes are a 1:10, Pre-school is 1:6 and Youth is 1:8 ratio. Please contact our Aquatics Department for more information on a specific class. Class sizes vary, for more information on a specific class please call our Aquatics department.
- How do I know what level swim class is appropriate for my child?
Please refer to our current program guide.https://www.northpennymca.org/our-programs/youth-aquatics/Here you will see a list of skills that are taught for each level. If your child has mastered a level it fairly safe to assume they can move to the next one. If the skills for a level are not STRONGLY IN PLACE please repeat the level. Some levels will be more difficult than others and a child may need to repeat that level a few times before they can progress to the next one. Everyone learns at their own pace. Keeping and/or moving a child up or down levels prematurely or to be with a sibling or friend is not helpful and hinders improvement as well as their confidence. If there is any question as to whether they are ready to move up please feel free to call our Aquatics Department for further assistance.
- Why does my child do the same thing almost every class?
Repetition is the key to learning for most young children. In swim lessons, doing something a handful of times isn’t enough practice to make it a habit. We do things over and over again so we can retain the information and the master the skill. Swimming is hard and it is critical that your child master the skills taught in levels 1-4 as they are the foundational basis for proper swimming. Just like building a home you need a solid foundation to hold everything together!
- Do I have to stay in the building if my child is having a swim lesson?
- How long and frequent are swim classes held?
Our group swim lesson classes typically run for 8 weeks. The parent child and pre-school aged classes from three through five years of age are 30 minutes in length. The school aged classes for ages six through twelve are 45 minutes in length.
- Can I enroll my child in more than one swim class per session?
Yes! One class per week is the norm but like anything in life the more practice the faster you learn. If you enroll your child in two classes per week please be sure they are the same level class.
- Do I need to be a member of the Y to take swim lessons?
Yes however you need not be a “Full member” we offer Program Memberships as well. A program membership enables participants to enroll in classes at either of our full facility branches by paying the program member rate for the class as well as a small annual program fee. Access to our facilities is limited to attending the program in which you are registered. Please visit one of our branches, or our website for more information.https://www.northpennymca.org/join-our-y/membership-fees/
- Can I request a specific instructor for private swim lessons? What about group lessons?
Yes. Please call one of our Aquatic Directors if you have a certain instructor in mind for private lessons. Depending on their availability we will do our best to accommodate you or recommend another instructor to fit your needs. Requesting a specific teacher is difficult for group lessons as we don’t always have the same instructor teach the same class from session to session. We can try to give you an idea but with so many classes and instructors it is difficult to have an answer until the session actually starts.
- How many people are in a semi – private lesson?
The Y offers semi-private swim lessons which would be considered two students. Our Y does not match up the two students therefore that should be arranged by members prior to signing up. We do ask that both students be of similar ability level so as to make the most of their time with their instructor.
- What do I do if my child cries at swimming lessons?
We have all been there. Our children decide that they do not want to participate in an activity or event. There are as many reasons for crying as there are children but typically kids at swim lessons cry out of fear of the new environment, or a stranger (the instructor). Some children that have been in small pools or backyard pools may cry simply because the large pool and noise are overwhelming at first. Some children are simply overtired, hungry or just having a bad day. Whatever the reason we ask that if your child seems unable to be calmed that you remove them from class and try again.
*Try to plan lessons for the time of day when your child is least likely to be overtired and cranky.
* If it is their first time taking lessons here we recommend you come and visit the pool with your child so it is not so overwhelming the first day or two.
*If you know your child is often tentative in new situations/environments we recommend talking with them about the upcoming lessons etc.
*If you know your child tends to cry because of attachment to the parent (s)/guardian(s) we suggest you try leaving the pool deck. For some children this helps. Our instructors do not force children into the pool but often times once a distraction is removed they come around on their own. If not, no problem, we may suggest you switch to a few private lessons until your child is comfortable in our pools.
*Some recommended books for children may also help: First Time at the Pool by RyAnn Hall, Jay’s Swimming Journey by Elli Overton, Saturday Is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum, There’s a Hurricane in the Pool by Jessica Gunderson, A Treasure at sea for Dragon and Me: Water Safety for Kids by Jean E. Pendziwol
- Why do some teachers teach from the deck and some from in the water?
Depending on the age and skill level being taught you may observe some instructors are on the deck during class or during a portion of the class. Typically you will not see this until you have achieved a level 5 or 6 because the other classes require teachers to be hands on with the children for safety and while giving instruction. Level 5 and 6 classes are where the children are refining techniques and where all the individual components of stokes start to really come together. Being up on deck allows instructors a better view of the entire process and of the child’s body movements overall.
- May I observe my child’s swim class?
Absolutely! All we ask is that you leave the instructing to the teacher. Often, well-meaning parents get too involved in the lessons and it causes a distraction to not only their child but to the class. Praise and accolades are awesome and certainly encouraged just please keep them for after the swimming lesson.
- What are the schedules for open swim?
Our schedules for open swim are available at our branches, on our website as well as on our Y App and the North Penn YMCA Lansdale or Indian Valley Aquatics Facebook pages. We do our best to adhere to what is posted but sometimes unforeseen things happen that may alter what is posted.https://www.facebook.com/groups/196336857933792/
General Pool Rules and Guidelines:
- I require modest swim attire, may I wear leggings, t-shirts or “street clothes” in your pools?
No! The YMCA does not allow participants to enter the pool in street clothes. All members are required to wear clean attire specifically marketed for swimming and pool use! While we respect that some members may have the need for “modest swim attire” we do not allow basketball shorts, other nylon shorts, sports bras, t-shirts, or other cotton apparel. This includes all members and guests using the pools, whirlpool, steam room, and sauna. Please remember to respect others and wear swim suits that are appropriate for a family environment.You can find full body swim suits:
www.ahiida.com www.simply-modest.com/ www.amazon.com www.walmart.comPlease take a cleansing shower before entering the pool helps to keep dirt and germs out of the water.Hair products and skincare products such as lotions, cologne and make-up will cause chemical imbalances in the pools and hot tub.
Not potty trained? Rubber pants or a swim diaper MUST be worn in conjunction with a bathing suit.
- Can we use a mermaid fins, floats, masks, snorkels etc.?
Mermaid fins are not permitted in any of our pools. Only coast guard approved life jackets and puddle jumpers are allowed. We have life jackets available for those swimmers who do not yet pass our swim test requirements. Masks, snorkels, fins, goggles, kick boards and pull buoys are permitted when used as designed. For your safety, noodles, rafts, arm floats, mermaid fins or any other large toys or floating objects are prohibited.
- How can I help teach my child to swim if they have to wear a life jacket while swimming?
We understand that at times you may wish to practice swimming without the required lifejacket. So we have made times available where we are prepared for this possibility. Please visit our branches to find out the times that are offered in the current session. Also please be aware that if you have two children swimming only one can be out of their required lifejacket at a time and that child MUST be within your reach at all times.
- When there is a swim meet why do they close the steam room, sauna and whirlpool?
We apologize for any inconvenience with our lap pool and connected amenities during swim meets. The lap pool and surrounding pool deck is closed during those times to anyone other than swim team members, coaches and team volunteers. During set up and break down there is a lot of heavy equipment, electronics and wires being transported which can cause a safety issue on the pool deck.
- Does my child have to take a swim test?
Yes the Y is always striving to make our facilities and pools as safe as possible. Swim tests are for our member’s safety. Please be sure to follow the guidelines posted in each of our pools.Children 6 and under must be accompanied by a parent in the water regardless of swimming ability.Children ages 7-11 who pass the swim test (green band) are still required to have an adult on the pool deck. Children ages 1-11 who cannot pass the swim test must wear a coast guard approved life jacket and are also required to have an adult in the water within an arm’s length of the child.Children 12-16 who do not pass the swim test are required to stay in the shallow end.REMEMBER PARENTS ARE THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST DROWNING! KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR CHILD AT ALL TIMES. CELL PHONES AND OTHER DEVICES SHOULD BE STOWED UNTIL YOUR CHILD IS DONE SWIMMING.
Swim Test Requirements to Obtain a Green Band:
Swim one pool length (25 yards) unassisted and without rest while maintaining a horizontal body position (as close as possible) for entire distance
Jump into water over their head and return to the surface
Tread water for one minute, turn on their back, float briefly, and then swim (either on front or back) to the side and exit the pool without using a ladder
Sauna, Steam Room, and Whirlpool* (Lansdale branch)
- What are the age requirements for the sauna, steam room and whirlpool?
Members must be 18 years of age or older
- How long can I stay in the sauna, steam room, and whirlpool?
For your safety, please limit your time to 15 minutes
- What can I wear in the sauna, steam room and whirlpool?
Swimwear or comparable attire is required
- Are there any other guidelines for the sauna and steam room?
Yes! Please shower after the Steam Room or Sauna before entering the pool. For your protection, exercising or rubberized suits are not permitted. Please refrain from bringing cell phones or reading materials.* Persons with health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes or pregnancy should consult with a physician before using the steam room, sauna, or whirlpool
Additional Pool Policies:
State law requires all swimmers to take a soap shower before entering the pools and hot tub.
No running on deck.
Ramps and stairs are for entering and exiting the pool please do not play on or around the steps.
Please do not enter the pool if you are recovering from any stomacher or intestinal illnesses in the previous 7 days.
If you have any communicable viruses or skin issues or open sores, enflamed eyes a cold, or nasal discharge please do not enter the pool or hot tub.
Children who are not potty trained must wear a swim diaper.
All children should use the restroom prior to swimming.
Spitting is prohibited in the pools, on the deck and the locker rooms.
Food and beverage is prohibited on the pool decks.
In the event of lightening the YMCA will require immediate closure of all pools. They will remain closed until 30 minutes past the last visible lightning strike or episode of thunder.