Junior Blues Swim Kids

Ages 5+

Swim Kids I
This is an entry-level program for children who are not yet floating independently. This class includes a water and pool orientation and introduces floats and glides with kicks. No previous experience is required.

Swim Kids 2
This second orientation level helps develop front and back swim skills. Children are introduced to deep water activities and proper use of a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Flutter-kick with assisted glides builds endurance.

Swim Kids 3
Participants learn the foundation for making wise choices on where and when to swim. Diving is introduced and children work on floats and changing direction. Flutter kick and a 15 distance swim build strength and endurance. This class is held in either the 25yd or 50m pool. Classes in the 50 m pool are taught entirely in deep water; please consider this when choosing a class.

Swim Kids 4
The front crawl, back glide and shoulder roll for back crawl are further developed. Children work on kneeling dives, surface support and developing a greater sense of self-safety by understanding their own limits. A 25m swim builds endurance.

Swim Kids 5
Back crawl, sculling and whip kick on the back are introduced. Children learn safe boating skills and stride jumps. Dolphin kick and a 50m swim build endurance.

Swim Kids 6
Front and back crawl skills continue to develop. Elementary backstroke is introduced. Children are also introduced to ice safety, elementary rescue with throwing assists, treading water and the front dive. A 75m swim builds endurance.

Swim Kids 7
Front crawl, back crawl, elementary back stroke and endurance continue to develop. Whip kick on the front is introduced. Children learn about airway and breathing obstructions. Timed treading water and a 150m swim build endurance. If registration is low, this class may be combined with other classes.

Swim Kids 8
Breaststroke, foot-first surface dive, standing dives and rescue entries are introduced. Children learn the dangers of open water, hypothermia and rescue breathing. The dolphin kick and a 300m swim build endurance. If registration is low, this class may be combined with other classes.

Swim Kids 9
Front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke and breaststroke continue to be refined. At this level children are encouraged to try combining different strokes and kicks for fitness. They also work on head-first surface dives, and learn about wise choices, peer influences and self-rescue from ice. A 400m swim builds endurance. If registration is low, this class may be combined with other classes.

Swim Kids 10
The final level in the Swim Kids program provides stroke refinement. Butterfly and scissor kick are introduced. Children learn about sun safety, ice rescue and head/feet-first surface dives. Dolphin kick, butterfly drills and a 500m swim build endurance. Completion of Level 10 includes a certificate and a Red Cross Swim Kids program medal. If registration is low, this class may be combined with other classes.

Prerequisites and transferring from other Swim Lessons

Moving to the next program level - As the program develops from the skills learned in the previous level, it is critical to be able to complete all skills and learning in a level in order to complete the level and move on. Performance criteria required for each skill need to be met on 3 separate occasions.

Swimmers who haven’t completed skills have the opportunity to continue to work on achieving the necessary progression step by registering in the level an additional time until their skills are strong enough to enter the next level. Your child will achieve physical developmental milestones at his or her own rate. It is important to look at the successes achieved during each lesson set, knowing that taking a level again offers the opportunity to improve on the skills that are the building blocks for success at the next level.

Children who are registered in the incorrect level (i.e. have not completed the previous level) will be removed from the class for safety reasons. We will attempt to transfer them into the correct level if space permits.

Transferring from City of Toronto or YMCA swim levels into Red Cross? Moving from Red Cross Swim Preschool to Swim Kids? Make sure you register in the correct level by using these tables.

Program Information


 These aquatic classes are designed to be programmed for 8-10 weeks. Participants may require multiple sessions to complete a level. Please be advised that participants will be withdrawn from a class if they have not completed the prerequisite level.

Frequently Asked Questions - Junior Blues Swim Kids

What general information do I need to know?

  • Parents/Guardians must escort their children to and from the pool and to the washrooms during class time.
  • Children must shower and should use the washrooms and blow their nose before the start of class.
  • Participants should meet their instructor near the teach pool or on deck in the Benson (25 yard) pool.
  • Health regulations prohibit street shoes, food, glass containers and drink on the pool deck.
  • Red Cross progress cards, badges/stickers are included. For continuous evaluation please bring progress cards prepared by the previous instructor parent conference week.
  • In the designated parent conference week, classes will end 5 minutes early to give parents the opportunity to speak with the instructors about their child’s progress. Please give your instructor your past Red Cross Progress Booklet during this time.
  • Watch for posted signs about photo week and other important dates!

How do I enter the facility?
Swimming classes are held in the Varsity (50m) pool, the teach pool, and the Benson (25yd) pool. At the Athletic Centre, in order to enter through the main doors you must have a GREEN facility access pass. Please ensure that you leave enough time prior to the start of class to pick up your pass on the first day if you would like to enter through the main turnstiles.

All Aquatics programs and participants at Athletic Centre: Remember that if you leave the premises for any reason and wish to re-enter thorough the main turnstiles you will need to show your green access pass every time. Again, please ensure that you leave sufficient time to anticipate lineups at the Main Office if you require replacement pass.

What should my child wear and bring

  • Bathing suit and towel.
  • Long hair should be tied back.
  • Goggles are permitted but not required.
  • Children who are not toilet trained need to be wearing a swim diaper to prevent any solid matter from entering the pool. Please inform the instructor immediately if your child does have an accident in the pool.
  • Children who are cold in the water may wear a thermal bathing suit or tightly-fitted undershirt to help stay warm.
  • No outdoor shoes or strollers are permitted on deck.
  • Indoor-only sandals are permitted.

Can classes be observed?
We find that children excel more in the class and have a better focus when parents are not directly by the pool/lesson.

Classes taking place in the 25yd Benson Pool (25yd): Please be advised that we will be allowing parents & guardians to view their child’s lesson from a designated on-deck seating area in the Benson (25 yd) pool. . All parents/guardians in the on-deck viewing area must adhere to the Ministry of Health Regulations for Swimming Pools. Thank-you for your understanding!

Classes taking place in the Teach Pool (TP) or 50m Varsity Pool (VP): Please drop off your child to the instructor on the pool deck and then you may either sit on the pool deck in the designated viewing area, or you may use the teach pool viewing gallery or the main viewing gallery located on the main floor, which can be accessed near the AC Cafe. The Coordinator on duty can give you directions if you need assistance.

If you stay close to your child, it is difficult for the children to pay attention to the instructor. Children in preschool classes must be able to participate without a parent. If your child needs to use the washroom during the lesson, the instructor will signal the Coordinator to get your attention so you can meet your child by the pool to access the washroom.

What is the ratio of swimmers to instructors?

Swim Kids 1 to Swim Kids 3: 1:5

Swim Kids 4 to Swim Kids 6: 1:6

Swim Kids 7 to Swim Kids 10: 1:8

Locations and Change Rooms

The swimming pool location for your child's lesson (50m, 25yd or Teach Pool) is indicated on your receipt.

What change rooms can I use before coming to the pool?
Children five and under may use either change room (men's or women's) under adult supervision. Children six and over must use gender specific change rooms or privacy change rooms. All children under 12 must be supervised by adults in change rooms.

The family change room is located across from the 50m Varsity Pool lifeguard office. We also have a gender-neutral privacy change stall located outside the main entrance to the 25 yd Benson pool.