Get Ready for Swimming Lessons for 2.5 to 4 Year Olds: Your Questions Answered!


If you’re a parent of a toddler considering swim lessons, you probably have questions. It’s normal to feel unsure about the best time to start, how to handle nerves, and many other things. To help, here are answers to the ten most common questions we hear from parents about toddler swim classes.

1. How long is a swimming class?

Beginner kids swimming classes are typically 30 minutes long. This ensures your child stays engaged and has enough time to learn without getting too tired. Leading swimming organisations like AUSTSWIM and ASCTA recognise half-hour classes as ideal for toddlers to develop skills and get personalised feedback from their teachers. It’s also easier for busy families to commit to regular weekly lessons with this shorter timeframe.

2. Should my swimmer start swimming lessons during summer?

You might hear other parents say they’ll wait until summer to start lessons. While this made sense before heated pools were common, year-round lessons are now the best way to ensure your child’s ongoing safety and skill development. Swim schools offering pools heated to 32 degrees guarantee your child’s comfort in any weather. Help your child learn positive, healthy habits for life by enrolling them in lessons no matter the season!

3. My child is scared of getting in the pool. Is it best to delay starting lessons?

It’s very common for children to feel nervous about starting swim lessons. There could be many factors, from not liking the feeling of being wet to past negative experiences in the water. If your child is very fearful of water, don’t worry! Qualified swim schools understand how to work with children who have aquaphobia.

The Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) warns that keeping a child away from water for too long can increase their risk of developing aquaphobia – a persistent fear of water. The best approach is to start lessons as soon as possible. A qualified instructor can help your child overcome their fear and build water confidence.

Need more advice? Seek guidance from your chosen swim school.

4. How many other swimmers will be in my child’s class?

Class sizes vary, but smaller swim schools specialising in learn-to-swim programs typically have a maximum of four swimmers for beginner classes. This allows for individualised attention and a better learning experience. Collaborative learning motivates new swimmers as they see their classmates practising and mastering new skills.

5. Will my swimmer have the same swimming teacher in each class?

Swim schools try their best to ensure teacher continuity. However, if your regular teacher isn’t available, don’t worry! All swim instructors undergo rigorous training and hold required accreditations, including:

  • A teaching qualification from a certified training body such as Swimming and Water Instructor (Active Training), Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety (AUSTSWIM) or Swim Australia.

  • A Working with Children Check.

  • First aid training from an approved facilitator

6. What happens if my child is sick and can’t attend their swimming class?

It’s normal for children to miss the occasional swim class due to illness. Many swim schools understand that these situations arise and offer flexibility to accommodate absences. This may include make-up classes, credits towards future lessons, or other options.

It’s a good idea to inquire about the specific policies of your chosen swim school before enrolling. This will help you understand their procedures for handling missed classes and ensure a smooth experience for both you and your child.

Learn about State Swim’s Never Miss a Class Policy 

7. What part of the pool will my lesson take place in?

Your swim school will share class details, including day, time, and pool location upon booking. On arrival, you’ll check in and see your swimmer’s assigned lane displayed.

8. .How can I help my kid get the most out of their swimming classes?

Beyond attending weekly lessons, the best thing you can do is be your kid’s biggest swimming cheerleader! Learning to swim takes practice and time. Encourage them with positive words, celebrate their achievements, and offer support during challenges.

9. What should I do during my child’s swimming lessons?

Watch your child’s lesson closely. Observe the skills they are learning and the language their teacher uses. This can help you reinforce techniques at home or at the local pool.

10. When will my kid be able to swim independently?

Every child learns at their own pace, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, with regular weekly lessons, kids can develop essential water safety skills and foundational skills including:

  • Water acclimation: Getting comfortable in the water and overcoming any initial fears.

  • Breath control: By practising blowing bubbles, children learn to expel air slowly and steadily, which translates to comfortable breathing underwater.

  • Floating: Developing the ability to float on their back and stomach.

  • Kicking and paddling: Learning basic movements to propel themselves through the water.

  • Independent movement: Being able to move a short distance without assistance.

Keep in mind that factors like age, natural ability, frequency of lessons, and individual personality can all influence how quickly a child progresses. The most important thing is to be patient, provide consistent encouragement, and celebrate each milestone along the way.

Ready to get started?

Let us help your child grow their water safety and foundational swimming skills by booking toddler classes.

Use our class finder to be matched with your nearest State Swim.

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