10 Levels Swim Kids Program – Red Cross

TAC Sports 10 Star System


Swim Kids Level 1:

Prerequisites: 6 years of age

Swimmers will learn the importance of water safety education and the requirements for staying safe around the water. This includes an introduction to PFDs, the importance of supervision, ice safety, and more. Each Swim Kids Level 1 swimmer will learn a series of water skills, safe entries, and exits into the pool such as jumping into chest deep water, exhaling underwater, and learning to hold breath. Swimmers experience an intensive swimming progression introducing each swimmer to the basics of floating and gliding skills.


Swim Kids Level 2:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of level one*

Swim Kids Level 2 curriculum reiterates many water safety principles from Level 1, however, swimmers are expected to have an understanding of these concepts as the class will begin building upon the prior knowledge. Students will be expected to choose and don a PFD properly, and the necessity of wearing PFDs in specific environments such as on boats. Swimmers will also continue to learn more ‘Swim to Survive’ messages, the importance of supervision, ice safety, and more. Swimmers will begin their exposure to deep water, with PFDs, they will grow comfortable with various types of entries into deep water such as jumping in and side entries. In shallow water, they will begin to understand weight transfer in the water by retrieving objects from the bottom, doing handstands, and log rolls. Swimmers will begin to understand the basic progression of strokes through a variety of different glides and will develop their kick technique to support them in front crawl and back crawl. Level 2 swimmers will be able to complete a distance swim of ten meters.


Swim Kids Level 3:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of level two*

Swimmers in Level 3 begin to understand the importance of water safety through education. They learn about who to call in emergencies, Swim to survive messages, when and where to swim, as well as building upon knowledge of previous levels. Star Three swimmers will learn a variety of new entries including kneeling dives into deep water, front rolls, and jumps. Swimmers will be introduced to treading water, through an introduction to whip kick. The distance of strokes will also be increased. Front crawl and back crawl will be increased to a distance of 15 meters.  


Swim Kids Level 4:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of level three*

Level 4 swimmers follow the similar educational instruction in regards to when and where to get help, who to call, and why it is important to always swim with a buddy. They will be introduced to the basic principles of safe driving, and how to ensure safe depth before entry. In terms of water skills and entries into the water, swimmers will learn standing dives into deep water, and a variety of other disorienting entries such as rolls, and jumps. Additionally, swimmers will be able to tread water for one minute and swim five meters under water. Each swimmer will begin to understand the basics of whip kick through a series of drills that orient whip kick skills on both their front and back. Lastly, swimmers will engage in front crawl, and back crawl advancement.   


Swim Kids Level 5:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of level four*

Level 5 level instructions include safe boating messages and an introduction to cold water swimming. Each swimmer will learn techniques on how to stay warm when in cold water. They will learn stride and shallow dives and be able to perform them in deep water. Level Five swimmers will be able to tread water for two minutes and will be introduced to egg beater a lifesaving kick which they will perform for thirty seconds. By this stage, each swimmer will be familiar with each stroke, including variations such as head up front crawl. Level Five swimmers will be introduced to interval training, 4x50m lengths with 30 second rest, and be able to swim the distance of 50 meters. Conditioning to improve stamina and strength is a major focus.


Swim Kids Level 6:

Prerequisites: Successful completion Swim kids Level Five*

Advanced swimmers begin to learn victim recognition in first aid scenarios. They also begin to learn how to help a distressed swimmer through the throwing of a buoyant aid. They learn a variety of advanced entries such as dives, stride jumps, and compact jumps. Each successful Level 6 swimmer will be able to tread water for two minutes, 45 seconds of which will be completed without hands. They will also be able to swim underwater and recover a weighted object. Stoke improvement at this level focuses on proper technique in order to maximize efficiency, and ultimately performance. Eggbeater is introduced as a swimming. Swimmers are expected to swim 15 meters using the eggbeater kick. Swimmers are also introduced to scissor kick and the foundation of side stroke. Interval training becomes longer through 4 x 25-meter sprints with 30 sec rests, and the distance swim is increased to 75 meters.   


Skim Kids Level 7:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Swim Kids Level six*

Level 7 swimmers begin to understand the basics of first aid. They are able to recognize mild and severe airway obstructions and provide care in choking rescue situations. They are able to assess conscious victims and care for external bleeding. Advanced star two swimmers will have an increased focus on sculling techniques and will be able to swim up to 15 meters with just their sculling. They will be able to carry a 2.5 kg object for 15 meters and tread water using egg beater for 3 min. They will be expected to be familiar with the basic strokes, including sidestroke. Dolphin kick will be strengthened and refined as a means of introducing butterfly. Level 7 swimmers will do 3 x 350-meter workouts and will be able to swim a total of 150 meters non stop.


Swim Kids Level 8:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Swim Kids level eight*

Level 8 Swimmers are educated on the risks of hypothermia, and how to treat individuals with hypothermia. They are also introduced to rescue breathing, assessing an unconscious victim, and treating for shock. They will be able to rescue a victim with a buoyant aid and support a 2.5kg object for two minutes in the water. The distance for egg beater will increase to 25 meters and the distance requirements for strokes is increased to 100 meters. Level 8 swimmers will have a series of lifesaving rescues they will have to complete, along with a timed swim of 200 meters in under 6 min. The distance swim is increased to 300 meters, and stationary egg beater is increased to 3 min.


Swim Kids Level 9:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Swim Kids Level nine*

Level 9  swimmers learn boating regulations and how to self-rescue for a fall through the ice. They are also introduced to complications of rescue breathing and learn to treat bone and joint injuries, and breathing emergencies such as asthma and anaphylaxis. Swimmers will be able to rescue a victim and tow them 20 meters with an aid. They will learn to remove unconscious victims from the pool, and various defense methods when dealing with non-swimmers. Eggbeater will be strengthened to the point where the swimmer will be able to easily travel, change direction, and height. Strokes will continuously be improved and critiqued. Swimmers at this level will be required to carry a 4.5kg object for 25 meters, complete 3 x 600-meter workouts, and continuously swim 300 meters in under 9 min.


Swim Kids Level Ten:

Prerequisites: Successful completion of swim kids level ten*

Level 10 Swimmers will learn the statistics of drownings in Ontario and how to prevent them. They will learn about sun-related illnesses and how to treat and prevent them. They will also learn ice rescues from a safe place. Level 10 swimmers are expected to have near perfect strokes in both technique and efficiency. Swimmers will complete a distance of 100 meters for each stroke, with exception of sidestroke and butterfly. Swimmers will be coached on maintaining the proper technique for swimming butterfly. A final swim will be completed using the butterfly stroke of 3 x 10 meters. Students are required to continuously swim 500m using any stroke.

* Completion of an equivalent level will also be accepted. Please see the equivalency chart for more information on equivalent levels

Equivalency Chart