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Little Dipper Aquatic Center

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(24 Reviews)

2525 Stanwell Dr, Concord, CA 94520

(925) 798-3170

Today: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tomorrow: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
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General Info

We are a year round facility .. outdoors in the summer sun .. indoors in winter.. Our water temperture is 93 degrees.. very small student /teacher ratio.. .. Small number of children in pool at a time .. sime classes there is only one at a time .. so it is excellent for maintaining focus throughout lesson.. Great to have privacy for Adults.Our program has been proven to work over the span of time ( since 1981).. Our techniques are greared to work for all ages , devlopmental amd special needs student


Regular Hours

Sat - SunClosed

Extra Phones

Office line: (925) 798-3170

Phone: (925) 932-5861

Payment method
visa, mastercard
2525 Stanwell Dr Concord Ca 94520 #250

Very private setting to maximize focus

English, Spanish

United states Swimming Association


Little Dippers

Swimming Instruction


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Edited: 09/26/2016
BEST in the EAST bay!

I have had all three of my children enrolled through Little Dipper Swim School for the past 2 years now and it is amazing how much my children has learned while attending. My older daughter just did swim team this past summer and was at the top of her age group. All of the coaches asked where she learned to swim and when I told them they told me they loved Little Dipper Swimmers. She had so much fun this summer on swim team it was such a positive experience for our family and she could not have gotten confident in her skills if it were not for her teachers at Little Dippers. My middle child is in a private class and he is working on rolling to float alone at the age of 3 years old he can swim the length with reaching arms. When we go on family vacations people are amazed on how well he can swim. Our 7 month old is now in the Starfish class. I love this class, we sing songs and do movements week after week. I get to bond with my baby while she is learning. My husband and I enjoy pool time with our family and we thank all of our teachers at Little Dippers.

We have referred many of our friends to Little Dippers and would not do so unless we were happy there. I just read the post below from another parent. And it seems that they are writing about the wrong program... I get e-mails back right way sometimes within minutes and even during off hours. All of the teachers we have had are wonderful, so it does not bother us who we get. And the program has been around for 29 year (I think) with a wonderful reputation. It is sad that a parent would write such a comment. Make sure to take your kids to Little Dippers!! We drive from Danville and it is well worth it as I have tried other programs in my area and it does not compare.


Mother of 3

Danville , Ca

Edited: 09/26/2016
Dear- Little Dippers Thank ...

Dear- Little Dippers
Thank you....Thank you for having swim lessons for children. Had it not been for the lessons our daughter Sophia (now 5) took from age 2-5 at your swim school, she may not be with us today.

On Saturday, we were playing on a ...dock with friends at the Lafayette Reservoir. The children were playing nicely - not rowdy - when suddenly Sophia accidentally fell into the the Reservoir. She knew exactly what to do. Sophia swam up to the top, and we pulled her out of the water. We immediately praised her for her awesome swimming and perfect reaction. We're so very proud of Sophia, and that the only bad thing that happened were wet clothes and shoes.

Although she no longer attends class at Little Dippers, the instruction she received at your school prepared her for this situation and saved her life.
Thank you for all you do.
Dana Neitz (Sophia's Mom)

Edited: 09/26/2016
"With more than 20 years of e...

"With more than 20 years of
experience behind them,
Little Dippers keeps attracting both veteran and new families,
making then one of the area's top swim schools."
Lisa Garcia
Staff Writter
Contra Costa Times
Sports Thursday, August 11, 2005

Edited: 09/26/2016
"Worth every cent spent........

"Worth every cent spent.....each individual matters:
Sincere interest in each child and their family as a unique and special unit.
They love the children so they succeed with them.
Discipline is sensitive but firm so that they can be teachers and not "punishers".
Jesse loved teacher Carolyn and then fell in love with teacher Joy
when his school schedule made a change necessary.
It's a rare and exceptional school.
We feel blessed to be able to have Jesse overcome his enormous fear of the water and to actually
enjoy being in the pool and under water. His little sister will join him soon!!!"
JoJo Grandmother to Jessi and Chelsey Fernandez

Edited: 09/26/2016

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I know you probably find it hard to believe, but just 2 months ago, Taylor was adamant about not swimming, let alone put her head underwater. I honestly thought she was going to be tougher to crack. But amazingly (and thankfully) enough, your program and your style has helped us turn the corner. I know we still have a ways to go, but we are making strides that I didn't think we'd
see for a while! I actually think we can enjoy swimming this summer. :-) Thank you again for making our swim lessons so pleasurable! This has
been a night and day experience compared to the other program we attened prior and I couldn't be happier with the results. The girls are already looking forward to next week.....

Jill Newton

Jenni J.
Edited: 09/26/2016
Little Dipper Team: Thank you ...

Little Dipper Team: Thank you so much for the quality lessons my girls have experience this past year. We will be moving back to Germany Januray 2009, and can not wait to show off to our family how well the girls can swim! We will miss all of your teachers as they have all been just wonderful. Thank you Thank you!

Donna Zimmerman

Edited: 09/26/2016
We are huge fans of Little Dip...

We are huge fans of Little Dippers. My son (almost 3.5) has been taking lessons for 6 months, and has made huge progress. He started out with a huge fear of putting his face in the water, and in just a few short lesson, he was over that fear, and now going under water is his favorite part! Joy, our teacher, is wonderful. She has a firm, but kind way of speaking to the children, so they will pay attention and listen. Lots of postive encouragement along the way too, which I think is hugely important. We started out with private lessons, with myself going in the water with my son. We would sing lots of fun songs that pertained to the particular things we were learning. Now though, my son is in the water on his own with Joy, and he is able to swim short distances on his own, float on his back, dive to the bottom of the pool (with Joy's help) and pick up a toy, and swim to the side of the pool, reach for the edge, and climb out! I am amazed each and
every week at his progress. I would highly recommend the Little Dippers program to anyone who is looking to sign their child up for lessons.
Lilli Albonico Pleasnt Hill 2011

Edited: 09/26/2016
I first enrolled my grand-daug...

I first enrolled my grand-daughters in a city-based swim program and I was very disappointed in their lack of achievement. The water was cold, the teachers changed frequently, and there were too many exterior distractions for them to concentrate. I started looking for a program that would contribute to making them water safe, which was my ultimate goal. Little Dipper Swim School was recommended to me and we started the lessons with Little Dippers! Little Dipper Swim School provides a service to the community that I very much appreciate. Keeping young children water safe is their top priority and they do an excellent job.

Sharron Anderson

Edited: 09/26/2016
Our family has been involved w...

Our family has been involved with The Little Dipper Swim School for two years now. It is our neighborhood swim school and an integral part of my, and my neighbors' lives. It is where our children learn to love the water, and be safe in the water. Our new baby will be starting swim school there soon too, and we are so grateful to have this school, arguably the very best in the area, within walking distance from our home. It is part of what we love about Pleasant Hill. Little Dipper Swim School is a community fixture, and a respectful one at that.

Erica Kain

Edited: 09/26/2016
My family has had the most inc...

My family has had the most incredible experience at Little Dippers Swim School.

My daughter Mikaela started swimming at Little Dippers when she was 4 and was so uncomfortable. Although she never cried at any of her lessons, she wasn't fond of putting her face in the water. She soon gained confidence through the positive teachers at Little Dippers. She learned how to be safe in the water and how to swim.. She is now almost 6 and still swimming with Little Dippers. She loves swimming and doesn't ever want to stop swimming at Little Dippers.

My son Mikey started swimming at Little Dippers when he was 2. He didn't like anything about swimming. We struggled at every lesson with screaming and crying. Many of his lessons I spent in my car with the radio turned up so I couldn't hear him screaming or on the other side of the gate so he couldn't see me, wondering if I had made the right decision.

I knew in my heart the importance of water safety and knew, because of my daughters success, that Little Dippers was the best place for him. It by no means was an easy year for me - (yes I said 1 year). We had a rewards system that if he didn't cry or scream we would celebrate with a treat. Many weeks I so wanted to go out for a slurpee or ice cream reward but because he had resisted and didn't cooperate in the pool I had to say no.

Joy and Loren, both of his teachers, went through the worst of the terrible 2's and 3's with my son. They never gave up with him, they taught him respect and trust.

There was a point a very short time ago that I was about ready to pull him out because I had almost given up. I had a phone conversation with Joy about Mikey where she told me "Mikey is at the eye of the storm and he is going to turn." I hung up the phone and thought I have so much faith in this program that I am going to stick it out a bit longer. Six weeks later I am sitting here looking at pictures and video of my son, who just turned 4 years old, swimming on his own and diving off of the diving board without any tears and a huge smile on his face. As a parent, this has been one of the greatest joys I have been able to witness.

Both of my children have learned more than just how to swim. They have learned the importance of water safety - respect, trust, confidence and sense of accomplishment. Mikaela is so proud of herself and her accomplishment in the pool.

Mikey loves coming to Little Dippers to swim. He is so proud to have family and friends watch the video of him swimming - he calls it "The Mikey Show."

Thanks to Little Dippers, both of my children are on there way to many years of safe swimming.
Nancy Wentworth

Edited: 09/26/2016
Little Dipper Swim School is t...

Little Dipper Swim School is the best! All three of my children have
attended swim classes there. The two older ones are now successful swim team swimmers. The third, age 3, is the true fish of the family. She has been swimming at Little Dippers since before she could walk. Now, she swims. Not sorta paddle around with water wings on - she really swims. She swims!

Anyone who says a 2 or 3 year old is too young to swim needs to watch Josie. More importantly, she has learned life-saving water safety skills, confidence, and respect for the water. Last year, Josie fell in the pool while watching a lesson. She came to the surface, floated, kicked to the wall, and climbed out all by herself. Of course, there is no substitute for vigilant supervision, but a child who can get herself out of the water after falling in accidentally is much safer around water than one who cannot.

Joy [Josie's teacher and Little Dipper Swim School owner] once told me that she was "only a swimming teacher." I disagree. At Little Dipper, my children have learned discipline, confidence, perseverence, patience, respect, and, of course, swimming. I am very grateful for all of the life skills learned and fun times we've had at Little Dipper
Swim School.
Melissa Ward, Walnut Creek, Mom to Katie (8), Matthew (6), and Josie (3)

Edited: 09/26/2016
My son Parker is taking lesson...

My son Parker is taking lessons from Joy. I think her school is wonderful! Parker is such a mellow child who would be happy sitting on the top step playing until he turns 12 (he is 3 by the way).

I had him take swim lessons elsewhere and for two months all he learned to do was blow bubbles. The philosophy of this other swim school was to let the child take the lead. They were afraid to push Parker for fear that he would become afraid of the water.

Joy's philosophy at Little Dipper Swim School is quite the opposite and has worked wonders with Parker. Parker has only had three lessons with Joy and is already putting his head underwater, floating on his back with assistance, going underwater for his ring, practicing his kicks,pushing off from the side and jumping in from the side. He learned more in one lesson with Joy than in the sixteen lessons he took elsewhere. Parker's favorite phrase is "I don't want to do it". Joy gently tells him that there isn't a choice and under the water Parker goes. Parker is very proud of himself.I am certain that Parker would never learn to swim if he was at a different swim school. Some children will learn to swim with little or no pressure from the teacher (like my 5 year old, Zachary). Other children, like
Parker, need lots of encouragement and cannot be given a choice to sit on the top step and just blow bubbles.
The Little Dipper program made such an impression on me that I also enrolled my five year old, Zachary, who already knows how to swim, and I am planning on enrolling my infant daughter in the fall.

Thank you Little Dippers!

: This is a huge accomplishment for my family. We are so pleased with the program and would love to share our success with others.


Edited: 09/26/2016
We have had swim lessons for m...

We have had swim lessons for more than five years at Little Dipper Swim School and there is a reason it is incredibly popular -- it is simply the best. All three of our daughters have flourished under Joy's direction.

For example, my first daughter is now almost six and an absolute fish with a huge love of the water thanks to the fact we started at Little Dipper when she was nine months old. I continue to learn so much about swimming and parenting from Joy on a weekly basis

Carolynn has been an GEM helping me with my crazy schedule for my girls. I have flip flopped on her a few times and she awlays has been able to help me get a class time and day that we needed. Very helpful how she respons right away at even late night hours to help busy parents.

Edited: 09/26/2016
My son has been taking private...

My son has been taking private lessons at Little Dippers for a little over a year now, and is doing an amazing job! He went in to lessons at Little Dippers (after having almost 6 months of lessons elsewhere), being afraid of having his face put in the water, and now his favorite part about his lesson is going under water, and diving to the bottom of the shallow end to get a toy. He is also able to dive in from one side, and swim 20 feet to the other side of the pool, all on his own! I think Joy has a wonderful way of teaching. She is firm (which I think a teacher needs to be), but also very loving and caring. My son has built up a trust with her over this past year, and so he (most of the time) willing goes in to the pool for his lesson, where as, in the past, he's been clinging to me, not wanting to go anywhere near the water.

I also love that Little Dippers gives out little certificates and ribbons, at each level of accomplishment. We proudly display my sons awards on his bedroom wall. I am so proud of how far he's come in his lessons, and we couldn't have done it without Little Dippers!

Edited: 09/26/2016
My son has been going to Littl...

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 disapointed.

Edited: 09/26/2016
I graduated from Little Dipper...

I graduated from Little Dippers Swim School (which was then also taught and ran by Joy as well as other wonderful teachers) roughly 25 years ago and now drive from Antioch to bring my children back to Joy.

My son is 4 and is swimming laps in 3 different strokes and has been given this skill and self empowerment from Joy. He has been through many stages starting at 6 months and it is all so worth it when we go to public pools and he is able to swim comfortably when every other child his age is limited to the stairs, life jackets and floatation devices on their arms! He also rode his bike in the pool on accident at 2 yrs old and was able to roll over and then swim to the side without any assistance. AMAZING!!!!!

My daughter is 2 and is doing wonderful. Every time we go swimming she is rolling, floating and kicking. I have the peace of mind to know if something were to possibly happen, she would be okay. It is AWESOME!!! Joy is amazing at what she does. And Carolynn and Jacque always get back to us right away if we have any questions. They also send birthday cards to the kids every year!

Edited: 09/26/2016
I am a parent of four children...

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!!

claimed iconBusiness Response05/07/2012

Jim- Thank you for your feedback. I did get your recent email about swim team and we are so excited and happy for your crew! Swim on! Carolynn

This listing has been claimed by a business representative.
Edited: 09/26/2016
About our experience so far: I...

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.

claimed iconBusiness Response05/07/2012

Thank you so much for your feedback. We are excited to be expanding into a new facility soon. We know that the temp site is not ideal and we are there since our client base has grown so much that we were turning swimmers away. Our new facility will be opening August 2012 with locker rooms, bathrooms, parent waiting area with viewing window, tv, coffee, swim shop, birthday parties and yoga. We thank you for your honest feedback and look forward to seeing you at the new facility in August!

This listing has been claimed by a business representative.
Lynne D.



We had a wonderful experience at Little Dippers. Our kids just graduated from the program as they finished all of the levels. We now have our kids on Fall swim team and they swim with so much confidence and ease. I constantly get compliments on how well they swim. Great staff, great center, clean warm water. We recommend it to all of our friends and family




LOVE this place! our kids have a blast learning and it is a must in our family. Swim lessons is so important for kids of all ages so they learn to be "water safe" we love Little Dippers methods and how they drill into swimmers the basics that can save their lives. I have also seen a few adult swimmers taking private lessons and they are taught the same way as a 3 year old (that's a good thing) Calm, loving, repetition and consistent. Our 3 year old can roll over and float forever on her back and our 5 year old swims like a fish. She can swim with us in Hawaii and keep up. When she gets tired she rolls on her back to take a break and she is so calm in the water. We got so many complements from other swimmer on our vacation on how calm our kids were in the water. Our kids respect the water and we are so blessed to have found this program. We have referred many friends to this center and plan to enroll our twins next session. Thank you to an amazing staff!

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