General FAQs

Ready to start classes at Little Otter Swim School? Here are answers to some common requests for general information about toddler swim school and general information about swim school for a child.

What Is the Best Age to Start Swimming Lessons?

The best age to start swimming lessons is the age that feels comfortable to you and your child. Research from the National Institutes of Health says that formal swimming lessons — even beginning as young as six months — have a positive impact on children and can reduce their risk of drowning. Our Otter Baby program accepts babies who are at least six months old with an accompanying adult. Other classes are available for children up to age 12.

Do You Offer Trial Classes?

No. Trial classes aren’t fair to children because they don’t provide the benefits of built trust, consistent lessons and cumulative learning — all of which are crucial to learning to swim.

How Long Is Each Class?

To give you a little general information about baby swim school and our classes for kids, each course involves a 30-minute session once per week. If you want more instruction than that, you are welcome to enroll your child in multiple classes.

How Much Do Lessons Cost?


    • Private Lesson – (Once per week – 1:1 Ratio): $185/month
    • Beginner  – (Once per week – 2:1 Ratio): Starfish and Yippy Yellow Tang – $117/month
    • Beginner Intermediate – (Once per week – 3:1 Ratio):Redfish,  Parrotfish, Golly Green Guppy – $106/month
    • Advanced: Dashing Dolphin, and Blazing Barracuda (4:1 Ratio) – $95/month
    • Excel Swim Team Classes: Prep, Free/Back, Breast, Butterfly (5:1 Ratio) – $95/month
    • Baby and Team Lesson: (Once per week – 5:1 Ratio): $95/month

    Prices are figured on an annual average (Calculation: individual lesson price x 52 weeks divided by 12 months).  Classes will be pro-rated based on the start date and sibling discounts apply.

Prices are figured on an annual average (Calculation: individual lesson price x 52 weeks divided by 12 months).  Classes will be pro-rated based on the start date and sibling discounts apply.

Are There Any Fees in Addition to Monthly Class Costs?

Our only other fee is an annual registration fee of $35 per family. If you drop the class, this fee will not be charged to your account. However, it will be charged again if you return.

Do You Prorate Charges for Mid-Month Starts?

Whenever a new student starts at Little Otter Swim School, we charge the annual $35 fee as well as our standard monthly lesson fees (with discounts for second, third, and fourth children). We pro-rate monthly fees for school closures, depending on the number of lessons you receive.

What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

There are several ways to pay for swimming lessons at Little Otter Swim School. You can opt to pay by check or bank draft, quarterly billing, a monthly debit/credit card charge, or in advance at our facilities.

How Will I Be Billed?

You can choose to pay for a full quarter (three months) in advance. If not, you can choose to be billed monthly. If you choose this option, you will be billed via debit/credit card on the first business day of the month.

What Happens If I Miss a Payment?

Fees must be paid on time. If for any reason your monthly payment is not made on time, you will receive an automated email alerting you to the problem and providing a grace period of five to seven days to address it. After seven business days without payment, there will be a $10 late fee added to your account. Another email will be sent, along with a phone call. We provide ample notifications to ensure that you can catch up if desired. After 15 days of notification without payment, students will be dropped from their classes.

What Happens if My Child Has to Miss a Class?

We highly encourage parents to prioritize attendance at weekly classes. Consistency is the key to learning! That said, when unavoidable conflicts arise, we offer makeup sessions. Keep in mind that we cannot guarantee the same teacher for your makeup class, you may not receive any type of credit for the missed class and the opportunity to take a makeup class expires 60 days after an absence. Be aware that some students — children who get upset or anxious about swim lessons or those who are especially sensitive to change — are not a good fit for makeup classes.

If, on the other hand, your child is regularly missing class, your best option may be to switch to a class that works better for your schedule. Talk to a front desk staffer to see what we can do to help.

Are Makeup Classes Available for All Swimming Classes?

No. We are not able to provide makeup classes to Lionfish special needs classes and we cannot provide back-to-back classes as a makeup option for our Otter Baby students. Makeups aren’t a good option for every student. Our Deck Managers and Head Aquatics Leaders carefully consider the student’s needs, the teacher, and the class as a whole to decide what’s best.

How Do I Register My Child for Classes?

When you’re ready to register your child, here is general information about swim school for babies, toddlers, and kids: First, you can come to either of our locations in person. This gives you a chance to talk to our professionals, tour the facilities, and get help choosing the right class for your child. Alternatively, you can call us directly at 704-846-7946 to find the best class for your schedule. Or, you can easily register online via the New Registration page.

How Long Until My Child Learns to Swim?

It depends. Every child is different and comes to the water with his or her own expectations and inhibitions. Some kids will be eager to jump right in while others will be afraid to put their face in the water or enter the water at all. We work individually with each student, using a gentle, encouraging approach to meet that child’s specific needs. Generally speaking, we allocate 16 to 18 lessons per level for kids. Some progress much more quickly than that.

How Long Do Class Sessions Run?

Little Otter Swim School does not operate via sessions or course calendars. Rather, we have classes going at all times. There is no start or stop date for a class. This gives you a lot of flexibility.

“We love little otter”

Customer testimonial

“My daughter was extremely fearful in the beginning, but Mr. Keith was supportive, calm, and comforting. Mr. Keith—thank you for your patience. Norah is now running into Little Otter to start her class.”

Amy Machold

Latest Blog Post

Little Otter Swim School UPDATE – COVID-19 Coronavirus

Hi Little Otter families, Lory and I hope everyone is safe and healthy. We are still paying attention to our government and health authorities. As you have probably heard, Governor Cooper has extended Safer at Home until May 8. Little Otter will be closed at least until that time. We will not be billing your…

Read more