Concord >Sports & Recreation Instruction > Little Dipper Swim School
552 Boyd Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA | Directions 9452337.985001 -122.048772
We just love this place. Our daughter loves her swim classes with Marilyn. We have not had any of the other teacher but her that they are all wonderful. The staff is really helpful and friendly. Facility is always clean and warm (the pool and the center) so when you leave the pool you are not freezing. I am in a class with my daughter so I have also learned quite a lot on how to work with her at our community pool. This summer we plan on enrolling her into the private lessons. My experience has been in the baby starfish class so far. We enjoy the routine and the songs that are sung.. I can tell that there is a method to the lessons and not just water play. We have a 2 year old in our class that has been swimming longer than my daughter and he is a fish. He can dive in and roll to float. My daughter is not there yet skill wise since we just started a few months ago. When we do have another child we plan on enrolling sooner into the baby class. Since this is our first child I have not been in a ton of classes outside of a few Music classes, but I must say that this program is a wonderful weekly activity that we look forward to.
We are excited about the new center in Concord. I have two daughters that have been attending Little Dippers for 8 months now and we are thrilled with their experience. We had them enrolled through the City programs and the pools were freezing and crowded so my daughters became more anxious in the water. The City lessons are much less but you get what you pay for. We also went to another program in the area and found that even though the water was warmer the kids were crammed into the pool and had only a few minutes on one on one time. We found out about Little Dippers through a family friend. We enrolled into private lessons and the extra $5.00 more per lesson is a great investment. Our oldest daughter has come a long way. She is now able to float and swim to the all 10 feet, when before she was not comfortable putting her face in the water. Our youngest daughter has no fear now that the anxiety has gone away... she is learning to float. Since we have been through other programs we are aware of the options out there. I give this place 5 starts due to the quality of the program. I know they are at temp pool sites while they work on their new Concord pool, and the Lafayette site is not the best as the parking is hard and the feel is a little off like your not welcome by the people who own the house.... but the lessons are wonderful. We are excited for the move to the new location so we 1. can be closer to our house 2. have a nice facility to match the quality of lessons. We have had a wonderful experience with all of the staff and the office is very helpful getting back to us fast with questions, tips or concerns even during the off hours. Shannon, Carolynn and Kirsten are wonderful!
Recommend it – About our experience so far: I wanted my daughter to start swim classes right after birth, but the earliest enrollment age locally I found was at little dippers swim school. We started at the Lafayette pool when she was just 3 months old and the first classes were quite scary for me a a parent. When I needed to put her under water - I was shaking and not confident. But with the instructor's help and practice I got much more comfortable and now a year after we started, she can swim half of the length of the pool under water. She rolls most of the time. She jumps to me into the water from the top step and from the side of the pool. She can dive and get a toy from the third (bottom) step and she and I enjoy the water and the classes.
I can tell you that there are positives and negatives in this school. My experience is with Mommy and me classes only. We have tried two other schools locally (not sure if I am allowed to post names, so I will leave it out) and decided to stick with little dippers.
Why we stayed:
1) The method: as an elementary school teacher myself, I can tell you that there is a method, and a clear progression and theory behind the classes. It's not just getting friendly in the water. Your child is taught step by step with a lot of repetition ( so they learn the routine and can anticipate what is next and feel confident) that leads to a confident swimmer.
2) The teachers: so far we have been with two teachers and had two subs. We switched times, that is how we got moved to our second teacher. I feel it is very consistent and I am not worried that we have to get a new teacher frequently, what happened at other places) and even the subs were great - they follow the method and have notes from the regular teacher on each kid and their strengths and weaknesses. So there is still continuity.
3) It's QUIET. I know this might be a silly comment, but I found that other school had so much noise, that my baby was just terrified. For and older child that might not have been an issue, but for a baby - that was overwhelming, and she could not stop crying. Here everything is much quieter and calmer.
Why we shopped around:
1) The facility is the backyard and somebody's private pool (with a bubble in the cold season). Although there is a bathroom and a changing room, it's still weird and takes some time to get used to. You have to walk through the cold with your baby in the winter season. We adjusted with warm robes for both of us and getting rid of the wet clothes right in the bubble (for the baby)
2) It's not updated or state of the art. It's just your average run of the mill pool and bathroom that is used by lots of people, so it can get wet and grubby. They clean it regularly, but if you are there at the end of the day, you will see a much worse picture than the facilities after the class at the beginning of the day.
3) Price: it turned out that the price is pretty close on all the schools. I think in the end Little Dippers were slightly cheaper for the mommy and me classes, but not significantly and not in a way that would impact my decision to choose them over another school.
For our family the quality of the classes, the method, progression and quality teachers ( that stay consistent) was more important than something fancy or an indoor facility and a separate not in the back yard facility. But I think everyone has to decide what is more important to them.
I recommend this school and actually had several of my friends come and join. I tell them right away that this school is great for the quality teaching, not the facility, and they always are amazed at the results their kids get after a short period of time.
So my advice is - shop around, decide what your priorities are and I think you will be happy with this school, even though it is not perfect.Recommend It
It is worth the drive from Benicia! – I am a parent of four children! I have two older children that learned to swim at a young age while my family lived on the east coast. They now swim on the swim team (ages 9 and 10), and while being around water on a daily location, it was imperative for my two younger children (2 and 3) to be safe while around the water. I started my 3 yr old daughter at Little Dippers almost 2 years ago. She has taken lessons with the owner the entire time, and my 2 year old son has just begun lessons. My daughter can swim independently, and more importantly, she knows exactly what to do if she were to fall in the water. Even if she were fully clothed with shoes on, if she fell into the water, she could get on her back for air, and then swim to the side. More importantly, she LOVES to swim and completely enjoys the water.
Let me also add that of my 4 children, three of them cried each time they got into the water for the first 3-6 months of their lesson. I appreciate Joy's teaching abilities so much. As a parent, I am loving, kind and gentle, yet firm. With water safely, I feel the same is important. My children have learned that Joy cares, and she is kind, but she is also firm. She didn't let my children climb out of the water b/c they were crying and wanted mommy b/c her job was to teach them to swim. My daugher eventually began to stop crying and enjoy the water and enjoy being with Joy in the water, and I expect the same from my son in the near future. And now, I have the peace of mind that if something were to happen, my 3 year old would be okay. And soon, my 2 year old will be in the same boat. Joy talks to my children, she explains to them why it's important that they listen to her, and she is open with me as a parent as to why she does certain things during a lesson.
Last, I have always enjoyed working with Carolynn as well. She has been a great substitue teacher and she runs the business soundly. She's been easy when I need to make a schedule change, and she's been accomodating when it comes to payment as well. I one day expect all four of my children to be competing on the swim team, but until then, I'll attribute my younger children's swim team abilities to Little Dippers!!
Hands down best of the bay area! – My son has been going to Little Dippers for 1.5 years and my daughter has been going for 8 months. Both of my kids started with Joy as their teacher and currently my daughter is still with Joy in her parent participation class. I have had such a great experience with this school and these teachers. My son is now with Kirsten, whom I cant say enought good things about. Some people are just born to be teachers and have a way with kids and thats how I feel after every lesson with Kirsten. We have had Erin too and she is awesome! Each teacher has different skills and I have never been disappointed in a class. We came from San Francisco (UCSF swim classes), and I can tell you its night and day comparison. My son started when he was 2 years old at little dippers and it felt like it was his first REAL lesson, even though he had been in lessons since 6 months of age. Just this summer he is full on swimming and water safe. I did read the reviews and I understand that everyone has different parenting styles, but I actually had the opposite feeling when my son was trying to take charge of his class. I was sitting there watching my son cry and not want to get in the water and Joy was such a professional and took charge in a way I would expect his preschool teachers to act as well. I was so happy that my money wasnt wasted as has happened in former schools we attended where my son just watched the lesson instead of being talked to and rewarded for trying new things. I wanted to thank her so many times for working so hard with my son. I really think teaching your baby or child water safety is such a gift, and little dipper swim school has certainly been a great gift to our family. You wont be disappointed.
DO NOT TRUST POSTS FROM YELP IT IS A SCAM! – YELP has left on the only TWO bad reviews and taken off 18 GOOD reviews about Little Dipper Swim School. They are " FILTERED" off and no one from YELP ever responds to why these GOOD reviews from real customers are removed YOU can see these reviews at the very bottom when you click on flitered. There are 18 other reviews that are on the very bottom in the Filtered section that no one sees. This is site is not to be trusted. I have filled a complaint with the BBB
I have been a member of Little Dipper Swim School for the past 5 years for 3 out of 4 of my children (my 4th child will enroll this summer). I choose to enroll my children in this swim school becuase of the rave reviews I got from a number of other parents in the community. We have had a number of different swim instructors that my children have swam with and have loved every one of them. Little Dippers definately spends time in training their swin instructors properly to make sure each child that enters into their pool comes out knowing how to swim effectively. The swim instructor my children have had for the longest duration now is the owner of the swim school. WOW! She is absolutely amazing!!! Not only does she know how to teach the children how to swim, but the children also come out of the water a better person. The owner definately knows how and has a special knack for communicating with the children in a way that they respond positively, which in turn has created fine children. I cant say enough positive things about this swim school and the fact that you will not be disappointed! My children BEG to go to swim class not only once, but two or three times a week now!!! My family and I are Little Dippers for life! :-)
triplets! – My triplets have been swimming at Little Dippers for 3 years now and we are more than pleased! This is a wonderful program in many families opinion a Pleasant Hill landmark. We just love love this program and our children do as well. We have all of their ribbons and certificates saved to look back on over the years. Many of the Teachers were once Little Dipper Swimmers or Moms and have been teaching there for a long time. I also love how I can send an e-mail at 8:30pm at night and get a response back in minutes from the office. Other activities we are in only respond during normal business hours. Since I have triplets the office has always allowed for me to keep my time and day set for years back to back lessons to make my life easier. We have only a few times had classes moved or canceled and that was due to issues beyond the schools control as bad weather or the pool was not 92. I thank the school for moving the classes or re scheduling so to a pool that is warm or a day that has great weather rather than swimming in thunder and lightning and in a cold pool. They really look out for the swimmers and are just wonderful! I have referred all of my friends and family to this program and will continue to do so for many many years. Thank you LD
Great program! – My daughter started swimming at Little Dippers when she was 5 months old. Her first teacher was the owner and it could not have been a more positive experience. The instructor is very loving and warm, but also very firm... exactly what my daughter needed! She is now 4 years old and can swim all four strokes (freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke) several lengths of the pool with ease. This is an amazing program. My daughter has had several teachers and all of them were wonderful! The warm water, small environment and friendly staff make this swim school the best around. I have checked out other schools and many of them seemed to be just "playing around" in the water. When my daughter was 2 years old, she fell into the family pool. I watched her roll over, take a breath and them swim to the side and climb out! Seeing that made this swim school worth every penny and I would recommend it to anyone.
Thank you Families for posting such wonderful comments about our program. We love working with all of your children and are so honored to be able to do that going on 30 years now.
Happy Swimming Little Dipper Staff
We are also excited to have just been named "2010 Best of Local Business" from the US Commerce Association as well as Best of the Bay 2010!
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