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Parent and tot swimming lessons

Swimming lessons for young children and their parents or guardians, focusing on structured in-water interactions, the importance of play and helping to develop water-positive attitudes and comfortability. 

Benefits of parent and tot lessons

  • Parents and guardians learn how to keep their child safe in aquatic settings.
  • Children develop water-positive attitudes and become comfortable in water environments.
  • Reduce fear of water.
  • Increase motor skills.
  • Heart and lung development.
  • Gain some independence with parental supervision.


2024 spring & summer registration dates

Registration for spring & summer swimming lessons, lifesaving and first-aid certification courses:

  • March 14 - Swimming lesson schedule preview
  • Certification registration is open
  • Swimming lesson registration dates by facility:
    • April 2 - Shouldice and Thornhill Aquatic Centres
    • April 3 - Village Square Leisure Centre
    • April 4 - Renfrew and Inglewood Aquatic Centres
    • April 9 - Killarney and Glenmore Aquatic Centres
    • April 10 - Southland Leisure Centre and Canyon Meadows and Acadia Aquatic Centres
    • April 11 - Churchill and Foothills Aquatic Centres

Ensure your Live and Play account is ready on registration day by logging in and verifying your information is up to date. Get ready to register.

Registration will open:

  • 6 a.m. — Online (virtual waiting room opens at 5:30 a.m.).
  • 8:30 a.m. — By calling the Customer Service Centre at 403-268-3800 (option 1).
  • During business hours — At any City-operated Aquatic & Recreation or Arts facility.

Upcoming facility closures

Programs, classes and swimming lessons will not be offered at the following facilities while they undergo repairs:

  • Bob Bahan Aquatic & Fitness Centre: closed this spring and summer.
  • Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre: closed this summer.
  • Sir Winston Churchill Aquatic & Recreation Centre: closed this summer.

Types of parent and tot lessons

You can register online, in person at our Recreation facilities, or by calling 403-268-3800 (option 1).

Choose the best swimming lesson level for you or your swimmer. Answer a few questions and we'll recommend a level.

If your child has completed all the parent and tot lessons and/or is 3 years old and ready to swim without you., they can continue learning how to swim with preschool swimming lessons.

About our swim instructors

Our instructors have Bronze Cross or higher certification. They are qualified to teach and evaluate Swim for Life® programs, Canadian Swim Patrol, Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross.

What are lessons like?

Parents and tots can expect to play in the water and learn to enter and exit safely. Play is important for developing postive views of aquatic settings.

Parent & Tot lessons have up to 10 swimmers per class. Our swimming lessons typically contain five to eight classes, depending on scheduling. The length of each class varies depending on scheduling requirements and the typical age of the swimmers participating in each lesson level.

Come prepared

All participants must wear swim wear and bring a towel. Swim goggles are optional.

All children 35 months and under must wear plastic pants over their swim diapers. If you don’t have plastic pants, they can be purchased at the pool.​​​​

All other required equipment and lifejackets are provided. Lifeguard on duty on pool deck.

Non-Traditional Bathing Wear Policy

The City of Calgary Recreation is committed to providing an aquatic environment where individuals from all ethnic and religious backgrounds are comfortable participating in activities in and around the water.  We want all customers to feel safe and welcome at our facilities, and have therefore adopted a non-traditional bathing wear policy as outlined below.

In addition to conventional swim wear, participants may wear:

  • Long-sleeved pants and shirts, tee-shirts and shorts with undergarments or a swim suit worn underneath.   
  • Traditional ethnic clothing (e.g. saris and hijabs) with a swim suit or undergarments worn underneath.  For safety reasons, patrons wearing traditional garments such as saris are asked to remain in the shallow end of the pool and to refrain from using the dive tank.

In order to ensure that our aquatic environments are safe and free from any external contaminants, all participants are required to:

  • Wear clothing that is different from the clothing worn to the facility
  • Take a complete and cleansing shower (while clothed in the swim attire that will be worn in the water) before entering the pool 

Through this policy, Recreation affirms its commitment to recognizing and valuing the diversity of our customers.  

Frequently asked questions

How do I decide which lesson level to register my swimmer in? 

Swimming lesson levels are based on the skill level of the swimmer. Proof of previous level completion is not required as long as the swimmer's skills meet the description of the lesson level. 

A complimentary swim assessment can be booked by contacting Recreation.

Why is it important that my swimmer is registered in the correct lesson level?

Registering a swimmer in the correct lesson level ensures the safety of all participants. It also helps swimmers better improve their skills and feel more confident in their abilities. 

Once lessons have started, what if it becomes apparent that my swimmer does not meet the skill level required for a lesson level?

Swimmers who do not meet the skill level required may have a difficult time excelling in their learning and progression. When space allows, swimmers may be transferred to another class.

Should I be concerned if my swimmer is required to take the same lesson level multiple times?

It is completely normal for some swimmers to take the same lesson level more than once. Swimmers progress at different paces and this not reflective of individual effort or competence. Swimming during times outside of lessons is an essential way to ensure swimmers practice their skills and progress in their ability. 

What are combined-level swimming lessons?

Combined-level classes teach skills from two lesson levels and can be great for swimmers who are unsure which lesson level matches their skill level. Combined-level classes are limited in offering based on enrollment.

Combined-level classes aren't offered for all levels. Skills in some levels align better than others. For instance, the skills taught in Swimmer 3 and 4 align more closely than those in Swimmer 2 and 3. 

How much do swimming lessons cost?

Swimming lesson prices vary based on number of classes in a course, the total number of instruction hours and the number of swimmers in each class. Group lessons range from $5.75 to $10 per class. Private lessons cost $47.50 per class. 

Are there any additional costs for lessons?

No. Swimming lessons do not have any additional costs.

Lifesaving and swim certification courses may have some material costs and certification fees which are paid to the Lifesaving Society. 

Can I register a swimmer for multiple lessons in a single season?

We recommend each swimmer only take one lesson per season. This allows a full assessment of a swimmer’s ability before choosing an appropriate subsequent lesson. 

My swimmer has not yet completed their current set of swimming lessons. Which lesson level do I register them for next?

We recommend waiting until lessons are complete and you’ve received a report card before registering a swimmer in more lessons. If this is not possible, we recommend registering in a combined-level lesson or waiting until the following season to register.

Does my swimmer need to practice swimming in addition to lessons?

Absolutely. Lessons teach core skills, but practicing will help swimmers progress at a much faster rate and is essential to becoming a better swimmer. Find public swim times at our locations at

More swimming lessons

Learn how to set up an account, register for programs and find information on cancellations in the help section of Live and Play.