This study attempted to establish whether an optimal age could be identified at which children were ready to learn the front crawl swimming stroke. The variables examined were: the number of lessons, the age of commencing lessons and the time duration for learning to swim 10m front crawl (Level 3). Longitudinal records of 326 children, aged between 2 and 8 years, were analysed using General Linear Model two-way (Age x Sex) analysis of variance procedures. The main effect for age was significant (p < 0.001) for all three variables. Post hoc analysis revealed that the children who started at 5 years of age received significantly fewer number of lessons and took shorter duration compared to those who commenced learning to swim at an earlier age. Whether pupils started lessons at 2, 3 or 4 years of age, they achieved Level 3 at approximately the same mean age of 5 1/2 years. The optimal readiness period was identified in this study to be between 5 and 6 years of age. There was little evidence of gender differences for all three variables.