What is VACSWIM?
VACSWIM is a Government of South Australia initiative that aims
to provide opportunities for primary school aged children to learn
about water safety. There are three water safety programs within
VACSWIM; Swim and Survive is a Royal Life Saving Society program
and takes place in swimming pools, Surf and Survive is a Surf Life
Saving South Australia program and takes place on beaches, AquaSafe
is the YMCA program and takes place in YMCA swimming pools.
There are a handful of independant providers, but they will all be
providing a program that meets the National Water Safety Education
When does VACSWIM take place?
The majority of programs take place from Wednesday, 2 to
Thursday, 10 January 2019 however, for specific location details,
check the Locations page and
search for the site you plan on attending.
How do I find out if there is a VACSWIM location near
2018/19 locations are listed here.
What level should my child be doing?
The first thing to do is decide whether you'll be doing VACSWIM
on a beach or in a pool. Then check out the content of the
Surf & Survive program (beaches) or
Swim & Survive or
YMCA's programs. Each program are levelled or staged and if you
did 3 last year you'll be doing 4 this year. All children will be assessed at the
first session after which the instructor will suggest a different
level or not.
My child did it on a beach last year, can they do it in
a pool this year?
Absolutely! The levels/stages are pretty consistent so if you
did Stage 4 on the beach last year you'd probably be doing Level 5
in the pool this year.
What time will my level take place?
In many locations you can chose the program time. In other
locations the provider (Royal Life Saving, Surf Life Saving or
YMCA) will be in touch to confirm the time as they consider the
number of bookings for each level. It is likely they won't be in
touch until after enrolments close (see the relevant location pg
I've forgotten what level my child did last
You will need to contact the program provider. If you
participated last year in a swimming pool contact either the Royal
Life Saving Society on (08) 8210 4500 or if it was in a YMCA pool
on (08) 8252 4163. If it was on a beach then contact Surf Life
Saving SA on (08) 8354 6900.
How do I find out about the cost of doing a VACSWIM
While the enrolment fee of $30 is standard for all programs, as
is an equipment fee of $1.50, the location fee changes from
location to location. All fee information is on each Location page
within the Enrolment section of the website.
How do I book a VACSWIM program?
Most locations take online bookings. When you book a VACSWIM
program you will book with the program provider directly, not
VACSWIM, as each program provider has their own booking system.
For the Royal Life Saving booking portal,
please remember to hit the 'Add Participant' button after you have
filled in the details of your child
For the YMCA booking portal, do not worry
that under 'Teacher' it says Angaston. Just select the level
you want and keep going.
Can I book at the location?
Many locations will have an onsite booking day. To find
out if your location will be having one you should check the
information page for that location. If there is no
information on the page about onsite bookings, please contact the
number for the program provider that will be in red at the top of
the location information page.
Can I cancel my booking?
Yes. To do this you should call the program provider.
What age can children do VACSWIM?
If you want to do VACSWIM on a beach, your child must be 5 years
old by the start of the program. If you want to do it in a pool
your child must be 5 years old on or before 30 April 2019.
While VACSWIM is for primary school aged children, the program
providers do have some parallel programs. For beaches, children
aged up to 17 can enrol in the Holiday Program which can be
booked through Surf Life Saving South Australia's VACSWIM booking
system. They also have the Little Lifesavers and Surf Babies
programs, running at different times and dates to VACSWIM. Further
details can be found
If you are looking for something in a pool please check here
or call (08) 8210 4500.
Can I drop my child, go and get a coffee and come back
Terms and conditions state that you should stay at the location
while your child is involved with the program.
Could a VACSWIM session be cancelled due to hot weather
or bush fire potential?
Sessions will not be cancelled due to hot weather. Locations
that are declared catastrophic fire areas will be cancelled and
this is updated at 4.00pm by the CFS the day before and all
parents/staff are notified. Make up lessons are held if
How will I know if a session is going to be
The program provider will let people know via email and/or sms.
There will also be Facebook posts as well. It is crucial that
people add the program provider's email address to their safe
sender list to stop the possibility of it going to their Junk
If I can't attend all sessions, can my child complete
Yes. If you know you will not be able to attend one or
more sessions, please inform the Instructor in Charge on the first
day. This will allow the instructors to prepare in advance for your
child to complete all the competencies.
Can parents enter pools for free?
It is best to check with the location in advance.