Swim lessons for young children?

indoor pool bw flickr Thomas R StegelmannSean emails:

My wife and I would love to get our 2 year old started with swim lessons this summer. We were hoping your readers could help us wade through the pool of options out there and recommend their favorite spots. We live in Albany, but would happily travel elsewhere for a great experience.

We're guessing there are multiple places that offer these sorts of lessons. So we'll be awarding non-redeemable bonus points for suggestions that include a line or two about why you're recommending that place.

Got a suggestion for Sean and his family? Please share!

Earlier on AOA: Ask AOA: Swim lessons for adults?

photo: Flickr user Thomas R. Stegelmann (cc)


Been awhile since we were members, but the Ciccotti Center offered toddler classes. They also had time for only parents and toddlers in the pool.

My daughter just started private swim lessons at Ciccotti Center in Colonie. She has only been to two but so far she loves it. They also seem to be flexible with scheduling for the private lessons - doesn't need to be at a set day and time each week.

The Albany JCC on Whitehall offers swim lessons and has two great outdoor pools that are open all summer to members, including 1 kid pool.

My kids did the Voorheesville Learn-To-Swim Program
The pool was too cold and my kids hated it, but it seemed like a great program.

More suggestions here:

I don't have kids, but after seeing my nephew and niece go through this program I highly recommend researching it. Their oldest sibling didn't have this training, and the difference in their approach to water, their respectful awareness around water, and their confidence in their swimming ability is like night and day. The video that comes up in the google search is initially terrifying, but I saw firsthand how kids are able to immediately put the skills they learn in ISR to use. It's really astounding. (I think the closest instructor might be in Kingston) And 2 is not too young for this.

We take our kids to Excel Aquatics-love the small class sizes

I'd second the JCC, which has great instructors whether at the pool or though its other programs. Since you are in Albany, I believe Parks and Recreation offers swimming lessons at the various swimming facilities in Albany. Can't attest to quality, but would be easy to access and enjoy a city asset.

The YMCA offers a variety of swim lessons which are open to the general public (members get a slight discount). My 14 month year old daughter just finished a Parent and Child session at the Bethlehem Y and she she loved it so much that we signed her up for another session!


Since last year i've taken my son to Excel Aquatics...he (as well as myself) absolutely love it. There is an emphasis on safety so i never have to worry about my son while he is in the pool. Also I love how every instructor either has a background in competitive swimming or years of experience teaching lessons, it definitely shows. Hope this helps!

We recently started swimming lessons for our 7 year old with Excel Aquatics and are pleased with their program. They offer programs at St Rose in Albany and Sunnyview in Schenectady.

I second the YMCA swim program!

Ditto Rebecca re ISR. We did this with our 18-month old daughter in Hawaii because of all the water. Training focuses on survival and it is amazing what, and how quickly, she learned. Local lifeguards were amazed by her water skills and the fact she would jump from the high dive at the age of 3-1/2. Be warned however that it can be hard to watch the training as the approach is one of tough love. This provides an excellent base for early lessons in specific swim strokes.

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