For more than 160 years, the YMCA has nurtured potential and united communities across America to create lasting, meaningful change. Everything the Y does is in service of building a better us. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to teach youth, teens, and adults to swim, so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills they need to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for staying healthy.

Our Y swim instructors are nationally certified. Their training includes CPR, AED, First Aid and Oxygen Administration. Swim lessons provide important life skills that could save a life and will benefit students for a lifetime.

All ages - from infants to seniors - can learn to swim at the Y. What age group does the student fall into? What swim stage is the student ready for? The specific days and times of our classes can be found when you register on-line or by reviewing our Program Guide.

Have questions? Call the Y or speak with anyone in our Aquatics Department or on our Member Services Team.



Swim Lesson Finder

Answer the questions below to find the swim lesson that fits.

Free swim lesson assessments are available to determine the appropriate swim lesson stage for each student. Students who took lessons under the previous Y swim lesson structure (with level names like Pike, Ray, Eel) can easily transition to the new curriculum. Discuss what level is appropriate with anyone in our Aquatics Department, or register for the Stage that is most appropriate for the swimmer’s abilities and our trained staff will place students in the correct Stage during the first lesson.

Life Skills, Save Lives


If you’re 15 or older and looking for a great part time job or a challenging career, that’s in demand, the American Red Cross Lifeguarding Program is one of the best places to start. Lifeguarding lets you work as part of a team to help people safely enjoy the water. You could even save a life! Learning is fun and easy! Through videos, group discussion and hands-on practice, you’ll learn—

  • Rescue skills for use in the water and on land.
  • First aid and professional rescuer CPR/AED training to help you prepare for an emergency.
  • Professional lifeguard responsibilities.
  • Surveillance skills to help you recognize and prevent injuries


  • Swim a minimum of 550 yards continuously in a prone position demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. (Swimming on the back is not allowed,
    swim goggles can be worn.)
  • Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs.
  • Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds.
    • Swim 20 yards, feet-first surface dive to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10 pound object
    • Return to surface swim 20 yards hold object with both hands keeping face at or near pool surface
    • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps
  • Swim 5 yards, submerge and retrieve three dive rings placed 5 yards apart in 4 to 7 feet of water, resurface, and swim 5 yards to the side of the pool

ENROLL TODAY! Lifeguarding Dates/Times: 3/27, 3/29, 4/3, 4/6, 4/10, 4/12, 417, 4/19, 4/24, 4/26; 2:30-4:30pm
Cost: Free to New Haven YMCA Youth Center walk-in eligible participants CPR pocket mask and participant manual included

Ready, Set, Swim!

Open Swim – Walk-in Program

When: Monday – Friday 2-4pm

Enjoy the New Haven YMCA Youth Center swimming pool during open swim. Pool usage guidelines apply.

Be Safe in the Water – Learn to Swim

Swim Lessons (all ages)

Teaching children how to swim and be safe around water is one of the most important life skills parents can help their children learn. It not only saves lives, it builds confidence. Swim lessons promote a lifelong enjoyment of swimming, encourages healthy living and the prevention of chronic disease. Plus it’s fun! Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, the Y can help you improve your swimming ability.  Contact the Y at 203 776 9622 for more information.

When:  Tuesday/Thursday July 24 – August 18 (8 lessons)

Time: 4:30pm (Beginner), 5:00pm (Intermediate), 5:30pm (Advanced)

Fees: $45

Lap Swimming Etiquette

  • Swimmers are encouraged to contribute to an atmosphere of cooperation and courtesy.
  • Always enter from the shallow end.
  • A maximum of five swimmers are permitted in each lane during lap swimming.
  • Please swim with others of similar speed. Lifeguards will move swimmers to the appropriate lane when necessary.
  • Always let swimmers in your lane know when you are entering the water.
  • Always circle swim counter-clockwise when three or more swimmers are in a lane.
  • Fins and/or kickboards are not permitted during circle swim.
  • Allow faster swimmers to pass. Passing always occurs on the left of the swimmer or at the end walls.
  • Do not stand at the ends of the pool for an extended period of time.
  • Teens age fourteen and older may participate in lap swimming.


Pool Usage Guidelines

Our lifeguards are on the pool deck to ensure your safety and have the authority to restrict any behavior deemed unsafe.  Y members and guests must follow all safety guidelines or may be asked to leave the pool area.

  • State Health Codes require all persons to shower with warm water and soap before entering pool.
  • Wear appropriate swimming attire in the water at all times. T-shirts, shorts, cut-offs and street clothing are considered not appropriate.
  • A parent/guardian, at least 18 years of age, must accompany any child five and under in the water at all times. Parents/guardians of children under age eight who have passed the swim test must remain on the pool deck. All swimmers age 8 or older who have passed the swim test may use the pool on their own.
  • Any non-swimmer must have an adult in the water within arm’s reach.
  • Children who are not potty trained should wear two layers of accident protection, a waterproof swim diaper and a bathing suit, at all times while swimming or playing.  For   privacy and sanitary reasons, please refrain from changing children on the pool deck.
  • If you have a communicable or infectious disease or an open sore, please do not enter the pool area.
  • For everyone’s safety, the pool will be closed during lightning and thunderstorms and will not reopen until thirty minutes after the last occurrence of either.
  • Walk, do not run, to avoid injury.
  • Pushing, dunking and rough play are not permitted.
  • For your safety, diving is only permitted in water at least nine feet in depth. Do not perform back-flips, back-dives, twists or any other type of flip that may cause injury to yourself or others.
  • Extended breath holding activities may cause blackouts and are strictly prohibited.
  • United States Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Devices can be used in the shallow end of the pool. They should be properly sized and in good condition. Persons wearing the device must have an adult in the water within arm’s reach while in the pool.
  • YMCA equipment is for Y programs only. Starting and diving blocks are not for public use.  Inflatable pool toys and flotation devices are not permitted.
  • Glass containers, food, and gum are not allowed on the pool deck.
  • Please do not sit, play, hang or lie on the lane lines.
  • To swim in the deep end, all swimmers must complete the swim test including an unassisted, 25-yard non-stop swim and a 30 second tread which will be recorded in our log. The lifeguard may administer a swim test at any time.
  • Stop, look and listen when you hear the lifeguard’s whistle blow.
  • Have fun, be safe and keep your language and behavior family friendly.