YMCA Star Program participants gather at the side of the YMCA pool with smiles. Swim lessons for kids are available at the YMCA.

Helping swimmers become leaders! Children who have completed the YMCA Learn to Swim Program or equivalent can develop more advanced skills through the YMCA Star Program.

Star levels 1-4 help children continue to build on skills learned in the Learn to Swim program and introduces other aspects of swimming such as water sports and lifesaving.

Star Leadership Program

Children 10 years or older who are competent swimmers can take the YMCA Star Leadership Program to continue to nurture their love of swimming and build towards more advanced aquatics certifications.

Combining leadership opportunities with the Lifesaving Society's Canadian Swim Patrol program, the YMCA Star Leadership Program consists of three levels - Star 5, Star 6, and Star 7 - that develop first aid, lifesaving, and advanced swimming skills. Successful Star 7 participants will be able to seamlessly move into Bronze Star or Bronze Medallion.

The YMCA Star Leadership Program encourages swimmers to work together in groups to reach their goals. Your child will be eligible for the Canadian Swim Patrol's Rookie, Ranger, and Star certifications after completing the YMCA Star Leadership Program.

Star 1

Star 1 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed the Swimmer level in our Learn to Swim program. In this class, kids will learn to use the whip kick on their back and the egg-beater motion for treading water. We will help your child continue to develop front and back crawl technique and endurance.

As the first level of our YMCA Star Program, In Star 1 we also introduce your child to other aspects of swimming. Kids select which new skills they would like to learn from a list that includes competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, and water polo.

Star 1 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will guide your child through each lesson.

Star 2

Star 2 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Star 1 or who show an equivalent skill level. At this level we focus on the backstroke, and continue to help kids refine their stroke technique and increase their endurance.

The second level of our YMCA Star Program, in Star 2 we continue to encourage your child to build on the optional skills they selected in Star 1. Your child may choose to try something new, or continue to focus on one area — the choice is theirs! Optional skills include competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, and water polo.

Star 2 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will share their passion for swimming.

Star 3

The third level of our YMCA Star Program, Star 3 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Star 2 or who show an equivalent skill level. In this level your child will focus on the breaststroke and egg-beater motion for treading water, while continuing to build endurance in the pool. We will also introduce young swimmers to introductory lifesaving concepts.

Building on the optional skills learned in Star 2, kids will select from a new set of skills they would like to learn. They may choose to try something new or focus in on one area — the choice is theirs! Skills include competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, and water polo.

Star 3 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will nurture the love of swimming in your child.

Star 4

Star 4 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Star 3 or who show an equivalent skill level. In this level we will help your child focus on the sidestroke, and we will continue to introduce lifesaving skills.

Your child will also continue to explore other interests in the pool by selecting more optional skills to learn. They may choose to try something new or focus in on one area — the choice is theirs! Options include competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, or water polo.

Star 4 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will work with your child to learn each new skill.

Star 5

Star 5 is for children 10 years and older who have completed Star 4 or who show an equivalent skill level. We will introduce the butterfly stroke along with lifesaving and first aid elements from the Rookie and Ranger levels of the Canadian Swim Patrol program.

Swimmers will also have the opportunity to continue to develop advanced aquatics skills by selecting from a range of options: advanced strokes, water polo, synchronized swimming, or aquatic fitness.

Led by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor, swimmers will work together in groups to reach their goals. After completion of Star 5, your child will be eligible to be certified as a Rookie in the Canadian Swim Patrol program.

Star 6

Star 6 is for children 10 years and older who have completed Star 5 or show an equivalent skill level. Swimmers will continue to develop lifesaving and first aid skills at the Ranger and Star level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program. They will also begin to learn how to teach others to swim.

Star 6 encourages your child to take responsibility for their own learning outcomes by selecting optional skills to learn, including advanced strokes, water polo, synchronized swimming, or aquatic fitness.

Led by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor, swimmers can work together in groups to reach their goals. After completion of Star 6, your child will be eligible to be certified as a Ranger in the Canadian Swim Patrol program.

Star 7

Star 7 is for children 10 years and older who have completed Star 6 or show an equivalent skill level, and have a strong interest in pursuing more advanced aquatics certifications. Star 7 bridges to the YMCA Assistant Swim Instructor and Lifesaving Society's Bronze programs.

In addition to first aid and lifesaving skills, swimmers will also continue to build their abilities by selecting from a list of optional skills to learn, including advanced strokes, water polo, synchronized swimming, or aquatic fitness.

Star 7 is lead by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor and runs for an hour as a club. Swimmers work together to reach their goals and practice lifesaving skills with each other. At the end of Star 7, your child will be eligible to be certified as a Star in the Canadian Swim Patrol program.