YMCA of El Paso

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
For Social Development

Welcome to the

YMCA of El Paso

The YMCA of El Paso strengthens the foundations of our community through well-being and fitness, camps, family time, swim, sports and play, and other activities for people of all ages, incomes and abilities. We’re more than just a place to work out. At the Y, we help build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all with the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility at the heart of everything we do.

With a commitment to nurturing youth development, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility, the Y ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive.


NEWS FROM THE Y


Swim Lessons FAQs

Aquatic Information

For your child's safety and to ensure the swimming pool is available for use by all participants, we ask the following:

  • All swimmers must rinse, shower prior to entering the water.
  • Children who are not toilet trained must wear either "swimmer diapers" or plastic pants with elastic waistband and leg bands. Swim diapers are available for sale at the Membership Services desk.
  • Please do not feed your child within 30 minutes before entering the pool
  • Individuals with open cuts, respiratory infections, planter’s warts, ringworm or any other casually transmitted pathogens are not to be brought to swim in the pool.
  • Proper swim attire must be worn in the pool (no outdoor clothing or underwear)
  • Workers must accompany any individual requiring a support worker and the use of a Personal Floatation Device (i.e. lifejacket) in the water. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the lifeguard on duty.

What is the philosophy of the YMCA swim program?

The National YMCA program is a student-centered, holistic aquatic program with an emphasis on aquatic recreation as opposed to a strictly learn-to-swim program. The program incorporates stroke development, water sports and games, water safety, rescue and personal growth.

All basic strokes are taught at every level with advancement based on increased endurance and the progressive refinement of the strokes from the very simple to the complex. This approach allows many children to advance sooner, experience incremental success, and thus gain more confidence. Water sports and games continue to enhance the enjoyment and learning experience for participants. Personal growth incorporates our character development which emphasizes practice of the YMCA’s Core Values: Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Faith.

How many children per class?

The YMCA of El Paso currently adheres to the following instructor-student ratios. All classes need a minimum of three students; exceptions will be made at the discretion of the Aquatics Director. Participants must read the appropriate age prior to the start of a session.

National YMCA Guidelines are as follows:


• Parent/child (infants 6-36 mos.) - 1:10 or 12 pairs
• Preschool (3 Years - Kindergarten) - 1:6
• Youth (Kindergarten – 13 years)
     -Polliwog, Guppy 1:8
     -Minnow and up 1:10
• Adult - 1:8 or 1:12 (depending on the level)

Why do some instructors teach from the deck and some from the water?

Teachers at all levels should be in the water at times to demonstrate or correct strokes as needed. Frequently with the higher levels instructors need to be on deck to properly observe the students’ strokes. Generally the students at these levels have the cognitive ability to understand and process verbal feedback.

When should I register for classes?

Classes can fill up fast, particularly in popular time slots so register early. Limited class space will be available after the class closings on a space available basis. Please put your name on the waiting list.

How should I dress my infant/toddler for swimming class?

Infants and children not toilet trained should wear swim diapers. Only swim diapers under a bathing suit may be worn in the pool. Regular diapers “explode” when put in water and are prohibited. Plastic pants over the diaper are recommended for extra protection. The lifeguard or instructor will not permit you to participate if proper attire is not worn.

Why does the YMCA use flotation belts (bubbles)?

The YMCA primarily uses floatation with our preschoolers and Polliwogs as a tool for water acclimation. The beginners are learning to explore the water. The belts allow the instructor to bring more than one child safely into the pool at once and greatly increase practice and play time for each student. A child who otherwise would be just struggling to stay on the surface of the water can relax and learn more stroke refinement. Instructors do remove the belts and allow the children to begin moving toward independence.

Parents should keep in mind that no child is “water proof” with or without floatation and regardless of their ability to swim. Close supervision of children is necessary to prevent accidents.

My child is ill and can’t attend class; can we schedule a make-up lesson?

It is the general policy of the YMCA of El Paso that participants cannot make up classes missed due to short-term illness or vacation. This policy holds especially true in the aquatic programs due to the ratios of children to instructor. If the YMCA cancels a class, a credit will be issued.

How do I get my child ready for the swim class?

1. When entering the building for swim lessons please swipe your cards at the front desk. Please enter the pool through one of the locker rooms.

2. Be sure your child uses the restroom before class. If preschoolers need to use the restroom during class we look to the parent or caregiver for assistance.

3. For infants: Only swim diapers under a bathing suit may be worn in the pool. Regular diapers "explode" when put in water. Plastic pants over the diaper are recommended for extra protection.

4. Children and infants must change clothes in the locker rooms only. We prefer young children use the Family Locker Room.

How and when do I register my child for swim lessons?

1. Progression to the next swim level is based on how effectively the child meets the skill requirements through the entire session. The requirements for each level follow the national standards set forth by the Y of the USA. Progress reports will be issued the last day of each session. Several sessions in the same level are common.

2. The class your child is placed in will be determined on the first day of each session. The actual class your child is in is not entirely determined by the level your child has attained on their progress report. Sometimes a student is faster or slower than the majority of children listed at the same level and we need to place him/her with a different group.

3. Classes can fill up fast, particularly in popular time slots so register early. We will be closing registration for all classes a week prior to the start of class so we have time to assign teachers and coordinate classes to maximize efficiency on the first day of class. Limited class openings will be available after the class closings on a space available basis.

4. It is the general policy of the YMCA of El Paso that participants cannot make up classes missed due to short-term illness or vacation. This policy holds especially true in the aquatic programs due to the ratios of children to instructor. If the YMCA cancels a class, a credit will be issued.

The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Click to read more about our financial assistance.