Photo courtesy of LA Surf and Swim
Photo courtesy of LA Surf and Swim

Best Private Swimming Classes and Swim Schools for LA Kids

Time for swimming lessons? Group swim classes at a local YMCA or community pool can vary widely in quality (even within a single facility), so we’re here to tell you where Angelenos who are serious about getting the job done keep their kids afloat—and it doesn't have to cost a mint. Private and semi-private swim lessons don't necessarily require a private pool, and they do get kids on the fast track to independent swimming. Several popular swim instructors and schools make use of public pools or swing deals with private pool owners to make private instruction accessible to everyone. Check out the great options below for getting kids safe in the water.

COVID-19 info: Note that as of the publish date, indoor pool facilities are not open in LA County, so lessons are only available outdoors or over the county line. The swim schools below are able to function within those parameters; swim schools that are closed during the pandemic are not listed.

Find more ideas for classes, tutoring, pod support, and homework help at our online Back-to-School Fair, going on now!

1) LA Surf and Swim

2020 info: Most locations and beach lessons are available as of September 2020.
The legendary Coach Syd of LA Surf and Swim is the guy responsible for the highest number of successful swimmers on the Westside. He and his team apply a zen-like calm that eases the fears of students from infant to toddlers to older kids, usually in tandem, semi-private lessons. The school also offers ocean swimming classes and surfing lessons. Lesson times can be booked individually online, or call for more info, with several location options in Venice and Santa Monica. 

2) Swimming Los Angeles

2020 info: Lessons are available at the Encino location only as of September 2020.
Swimming LA was founded by champion swimmer, Matt Harrigan. Check out his videos on the website where he explains the intellectual and social-emotional benefits of early-age swimming.  Locations include pools in El Segundo, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and Encino, and monthly tuition guarantees 4 classes per week. 

3) Jim Herrick Swim School

2020 info: Lessons are running as normal with special COVID safety measures in place.
Valley Village families sing the praises of Jim Herrick Swim School, a swim school that’s been in the neighborhood for multiple generations. Herrick's personal, laid back, stress-free method is taught by everyone at the school. Private lessons and classes are available and can be paid one at a time or monthly. Classes include private, parent and me, and pre-swim team.

Photo courtesy of Head Above Water Swim School

4) Head Above Water

2020 info: Private lessons are available.
Head Above Water offers almost as many locations as Starbucks – if Starbucks delivered. Families with private pools can arrange home visits, and everyone else can choose from West LA, Toluca Lake, and Bel Air. Lessons are all private, with the exception of semi-private Parent & Me classes, and available to buy per lesson, in blocks, or weekly for the same lesson every week. HAW also offers Lifeguard services.

5) kidSwim

2020 info: Lessons are running as normal with special COVID safety measures in place.
With locations in Cheviot Hills, Hancock Park, and Mar Vista, kidSwim is a developmental swim school for kids 5 months and up. The unique program teaches motor, sensory, and communications skills aligned with the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Private lessons start at age 2. 

6) LA Swim Safari

2020 info: Lessons are available as of September 2020.
A strictly in-home option, LA Swim Safari focuses on learning through play, in a child's own pool. 

7) Waterworks Aquatics

2020 info: Most locations are open as of September 2020, except Pasadena.
Waterworks Aquatics offers swim lessons for students of all ages at multiple locations in both Los Angeles and Orange County. Semi-private lessons promise to eliminate "dead time" by encouraging both students to remain active throughout the lesson.


Post originally published August 7, 2011

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