Frequently asked questions
What is your schedule and availability? When can we sign up?
Swimmers can enroll at anytime! Our lessons run on a perpetual based system that is broken up into a set session schedule. We believe that a consistent year-round approach to swimming is necessary for children to learn how to swim and be safe in the water. We have students entering and leaving our program year ‘round, so after we assess your child’s level and your preferred day/time and start date, the office will check to see our availability with the teachers best suited to your child’s personality and level and schedule you requested. We are adding classes on demand all the time even mid session so if you happen to match an open spot you can be enrolled right away. You will pay the pro-rated amount for the month in which you are starting swim lesson. You will then go into our automatic billing system for all future sessions. We do not post class schedule on line all enrollment is done with the help of staff.
What should I bring to swim class?
Infants and all children under the age of 3 years (even is they are potty trained) will need non disposable swim diapers. If huggies Little Swimmer are worn to class the teacher can not allow you into class (these diapers clog filter system). Goggles are a great idea only if your child is in an intermediate or advanced class as they can be a distraction if used at a young beg level. Please remember to mark your name on all personal items as we are not responsible for lost items. We do have a lost an found in site in the blue bin by the skill sheets. We supply kick board, underwater tools and toys for play time. Locker rooms and shower are onsite so feel free to bring a change of clothes, soap, shampoo and towels.
Parent Waiting Area:
We ask that parents watch their child's lesson from our parent waiting area. To have a parent waiting area is very standard at all swim schools and swim teams. We find that have a parent area eliminates distractions and makes for a more positive learning environment. Please supervise siblings you bring to lessons when they are not in the pool. A parent or responsible adult is required to be present for all sessions in case of emergency.
How do I change my day or time?
We understand that life has schedule changes. At times our staff has to change their schedule as well. Once you know that you will need to make a change please send a requests to change days or times by e-mail to the office so that we may have record of the request and send you a list of options. If a spot is immediately available you may move over mid session. If there is nothing open that matches your request we will place you on our waiting list and will do our best to make the changes as soon as openings become available.
What kind of training and certification do your instructors have?
Our instructors go through our own Little Dipper Swim School instructor certification, which entails about 40 hours of training. Our Director, Joy Lindsey, has over 33 years experience teaching swim lessons to all ages. She developed and oversees our L.D certification program. All of our instructors are Lifeguard, CPR, and First Aid certified and some even have their teaching credential. Many of the staff are Little Dipper Swim School graduate swimmers and have children currently enrolled into the program. We have teachers meetings to go over updating student records, levels and additional training session for staff.
What is the best age to begin lessons?
There are so many benefits from enrolling infants into swimming, that includes development of motor skills, confidence and it stimulates coordination and balance. We do start babies in our program at the age of 3 months (15 pounds) once or twice a week. Of course any age is the right age to get started! We welcome babies-adults and structure our classes so that the basics are taught and good habits formed then build on skills level after level.
How long will it take for my child to learn how to swim?
This is almost impossible to answer as there are so many factors involved such as the age of the child when they start, the comfort of your child in water, and expectations are different family to family as what is to be considered "learning to swim". Most of our families stay until their child reaches Shark level and have mastered all four strokes. Other families just want the basics learned for water safety. Since we are year round we only introduce new skills once foundations are established and mastered. We do not rush to the next skill as this forms bad habits and does not build a firm foundation. By swimming year round, you insure a consistent routine and a foundation for your swimmer so that they have a solid hold on strokes and learn to respect the water. Since drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children under the age of 3, getting an early start will help in the barriers of protection, including fencing or covering your pool, locking doors/windows that lead to the pool, and learning CPR.
Instructor Requests and Instructor changes:
We are aware that students and parents can become fond of a particular instructor. We love our instructors too! We will continue to make decisions regarding where instructors are placed based on our effort to provide the best quality swimming experience possible for everyone. Because of life events that may come up beyond our control, we can never guarantee a instructor. Instructors are assigned shifts that they teach weekly, at times changes may happen where instructors have to rotate classes. We will try our best to notify students about changes by email or in person. Please remember that our teachers are people too and they do get ill or have schedules that change due to school, second jobs and personal family schedules (many are Moms). If a teacher is to fill in or take over a shift they are all able to do so and have been updated on each and every students skills and detailed notes from the past teacher.
We also know from experience that a swimmer who has had different teachers become a more well rounded swimmer in the long run as all of us have different specialties and skills that we excel in.
What are my payment options? And do you offer credits or refunds after a session has started?
We accept Visa/Master Card credit/debit cards. We do not accept cash, checks or AMEX. All accounts will be automatically debited on or a few days after the charge date on the web site and session schedule. If you wish to drop from lessons we do need to have 30 days written notice prior to the next session start date. This can be given to the front desk verbally or emailed to the office at email@example.com
If 30 days notice prior to the start of the next session is not given to the office via e-mail you will be automatically enrolled into the next session in your same class day and time. The 30 days notice dates are also listed on the session schedule. If you are enrolled mid session the fee is pro rated.
Due to operational costs, no refunds or credits will be issued. A transfer to another day and time is allowed mid session. Or you may attend makeup classes for any missed lesson by using the makeup sheet on line. If you are enrolled into a group class but your child is the only swimmer the class will be shorter until a swim partner is found or you may pay the private fee for the extra time.
A swimmer may enroll at anytime during a set session. Session tuition will be pro rated mid session and added to the next set tuition date. If a swimmer enrolls after the current sessions set tuition date the first session tuition will be added to the next set session charge date.
Private, semi private and group lessons.
At Little Dippers we strongly feel that all new swimmers should start with private lessons to build a strong water safety foundation. We do offer group lessons for students that are comfortable in the water and can follow directions given during class time. We like to talk to each families needs and do what is best for the student. We may move a student from a group class to a private class if we feel that it is best for the student. In general, we like to have babies under 2.5 yr in a group parent and me class, 2.5 yr and up in a private class if the student has zero swimming skills and or has some fear. Small group classes we like to have goldfish-Dolphin level. Larger groups Swordfish- Shark. Adults are always booked into private lessons. Private lessons are more tuition per class than our group lessons, if a swimmer is enrolled into a group class paying the group rate fee and swimming without a buddy the class time will be adjusted to a shorter class time. Example: if a student is paying a group rate 2:1 or 3:1 ratio 20/30 min rate $87 and swimming alone the the class time will be adjusted since the student is getting 1:1 lessons. Parents may choose to either move to another opening or pay the difference of group and private for the full class time while waiting for a swim buddy to join. We do add our open spot to the makeup sheet the day before if spots are open on our end. If you are in a private class and wish to make it a 2:1 ratio class please let the front desk know and a note will be added. When a student is matched up the rate will then change from private to group rate.
Make Up Lessons?
Makeups are not scheduled through the office. However we do make exceptions for extended illness such as broken arm, surgeries etc.. if this is the case an you will miss class for more than a week please e-mail the office.
We understand that things do pop up from time to time making it hard to attend class. We do have a parent ran makeup system posting forum on our web site. Please use this system if you know you will be missing class.
Dates that the school will be closed is listed on the web site and session schedule if we are closed for a break that break is not apart of your session tuition. We are not closed for Holiday's that fall on Monday. Please check session schedule for dates that we are closed.
Should parent's be in eye site range during class time?
If the child is constantly asking for "Mommy or Daddy" throughout the lesson and if the teacher is having trouble getting the students full attention, it is generally best to have the parent "out of sight and out of mind" until the child begins to bond with and trust the teacher.
Often, if the child thinks there is a sympathetic person close by who will "save them" from their "plight", they will likely become melodramatic and emotionally distressed. We want parents to watch the entire lesson, but often prefer that they hide whenever their child becomes distracted by the possibility that Mom or Dad might bail them out of their situation. If a teacher does ask you to be out of sight please know why and then you can slowly come back as the issue lessens. We are here for the long haul so please do not feel alone if your child cries on class. We are here to give you advice and tips that have proven to work over time. Please contact the office so it is not in front of the child and we can assist you. We have seen it all and can help you step by step through the process.
I have a question but don't see an answer for it. Who should I contact?
The best way to get a fast answer is to call or e-mail the office. 925-798-3170 firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I need to change times if my child moves to the next swim level?
In a private class your child can stay in their booked time and progress level to level without making a schedule change. If a student is ready to move to the small group advanced class a schedule change may be necessary. Semi private and small group classes tend to progress together. If this is not the case, we will speak to you about looking for a class more appropriate for your child. If a swimmer leaves your semi private class, you can still keep your class time waiting for a swim buddy to be placed. In the duration if the swimmer is alone the class time given will be based on the tuition amount paid. Parents may at the time pay the difference of group and private to get the full class time while waiting for a swim buddy, get a shorter 1:1 private class at the group rate, or move to another opening.