Swimming lessons

Safety in and around the water is important. The municipality wants everybody to have the opportunity to learn to swim.

Your child can take swimming lessons at the municipality or at a swimming club. On this page you can read about what you can expect from the swimming lessons at the municipality.


The swimming lessons at the municipality are given by certified swimming instructors. They work with the Zwem-ABC method from the Nationale Raad Zwemveiligheid. The A certificate teaches your child the basics of swimming. The B and C certificates allow your child to refine his or her swimming technique.

The A certificate takes the longest. First your child has to get used to the water. Next your child will learn the basics of swimming. The exact amount of time it takes to earn the Zwem-ABC depends on the child. With 40-minute lessons your child will need:

  • for the A certificate: an average of 75 lessons
  • for the B certificate: an average of 18 lessons
  • for the C certificate: an average of 18 lessons

I want to register my child for swimming lessons

The municipality gives swimming lessons to children aged 6 years and older. You can register your child as of 5 years of age.

Good to know:

  • Make a separate account for each child who needs to be registered.
  • Your child must be at least 5 years old at the moment of registration.
  • Fill in your child’s details when you register him or her.
  • It is only possible to register for swimming lessons online.

    Register your child for swimming lessons

    After you register

    There are usually no spots available right away in the swimming lessons. After you register your child, he or she will be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list for municipal swimming lessons for the A certificate is different at each swimming pool. If your child has already had some swimming lessons elsewhere, he or she will be invited in for a swimming test to determine the level of swimming. Often your child can already enrol earlier. There is usually no waiting list for the lessons for the B and C certificates. The municipality will phone you when a spot becomes available. You will get information about the first swimming lesson and you will receive an invitation letter.

    Would you like to practice with your child earlier?

    Teddy Bear swimming is organised in a number of swimming pools. During Teddy Bear swimming you swim together with your child while an experienced swimming instructor shows you fun and educational exercises. This way your child gets used to the water in a playful way. It is all about playing, discovering and building confidence. So that he or she is not afraid of water. You do not need to register for Teddy Bear swimming. You can buy a ticket for it at the cash desk of the swimming pool. There are also time slots when you are allowed to practice swimming with your child without inflatable armbands during recreational swimming and family swimming. You can see where and when this is possible under the opening hours for the swimming pools (oefenen zonder zwemvleugels).

    Has your situation changed?

    The municipality tries to keep the waiting list up to date. You can help us. Has your child already had swimming lessons? Have you moved? Is your child already taking lessons elsewhere? Or has your contact information changed? Please inform the municipality by sending an email to sportinfolijn@denhaag.nl.

    During the swimming lessons

    Buying the first swimming subscription

    At the first swimming lesson you buy a monthly subscription at the cash desk of the swimming pool. Your child will then get a personal swimming pass. Do you have an Ooievaarspas? Then you register at the cash desk of the swimming pool with the valid Ooievaarspas. The swimming lessons will be credited to the Ooievaarspas. It is important that you take the swimming pass or Ooievaarspas to every lesson.

    Extending the swimming subscription

    You can extend the monthly subscription at the end of each month. You can do this online in the Sport webshop or at the cash desk of the swimming pool. Do you have an Ooievaarspas? Then you will extend the subscription at the cash desk of the swimming pool every 6 months.

    Extend your subscription (without Ooievaarspas)

    Arrive on time

    It is important that you arrive on time. If you are too late and the swimming lesson has already started, your child will not be able to take part in the lesson. Make sure that your child has changed his or her clothes and is ready and waiting in the changing rooms 10 minutes before the lesson starts. This way the lesson can start on time.

    Cancel the swimming lesson

    Of course there are times when your child is not able to attend the swimming lesson. You can cancel the lesson online. If your child is absent 3 times in a row and you have not cancelled these lessons, his or her spot will be given to somebody else. You will then need to register your child for swimming lessons again. Is there an unusual situation which prevents your child from taking part in a number of swimming lessons. Discuss this with the swimming lesson coordinator at the swimming pool.

    Cancel the swimming lesson

    Monitoring system: How well is your child swimming?

    You and your child can see how well the swimming lessons are going in the Pupil monitoring system (Leerling Volgsysteem). This is meant not only to encourage your child but also to be fun. Does your child have a gold star for all of the swimming exercises? Then he or she will be allowed to move ahead to the next level. The swimming instructor will update his or her progress at least 2 times per month.   

    • Bronze star: It would help to keep on practicing this exercise.
    • Silver star: Practice a little bit more, you are almost there.
    • Gold star: You did a terrific job!

    Look how many gold stars your child has

    Keep swimming

    It is important to keep swimming regularly after getting the swimming certificates. Does your child really enjoy swimming? Then you could consider signing your child up for a sport. For example, water polo, rescue swimming, competitive swimming, diving or synchronised swimming. There are different swimming clubs in The Hague which offer these types of sports.

    Published: 8 February 2022Modified: 8 February 2022