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 Competency Framework.

When does VACSWIM take place?

The majority of programs take place from Monday 4 January - Tuesday 12 January 2021 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 me?

2020/21 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 for details).

I've forgotten what level my child did last year?

You will need to contact the program provider. If you participated last year in a swimming pool contact (08) 8210 4500 or beach contact (08) 8354 6996 or if it was in a YMCA pool on 0418 708 830.

How do I find out about the cost of doing a VACSWIM program?

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. Additional spectators or swimmers may be subject to casual entry fees - depending on individual locations. 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. Please note:

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?

Vacswim is a program for children between 5 and 13 years old. Children must be strictly 5 years old by the time the program starts.

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.

Can I drop my child, go and get a coffee and come back later?

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 possible.

How will I know if a session is going to be cancelled?

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 folder.

If I can't attend all sessions, can my child complete the program?

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.

Can I use the $100 Sports Voucher for VACSWIM?

No, we do not accept the $100 Sports Voucher for the VACSWIM program. The program is already heavily subsidised by the government.