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Leading A Group

Be a PEPS Group Leader

PEPS Group Leaders create a welcoming space for new parents to share, connect, and support one another.

PEPS facilitators are compassionate, empathetic, resourceful and real. They don't have all the answers, but they are passionate about helping parents generate ideas, find information and build neighborhood communities.

Many people lead PEPS Groups as a way to give back because they loved their PEPS experience and many others are new to PEPS. All tell us they find great joy and satisfaction in helping new parents connect and share through their PEPS groups.

We Always Need Leaders

Volunteers led 278 Groups in 2021, serving 2,996 families in King and Snohomish Counties. Demand from new parents grows continually, and so does our need for leaders.



We appreciate warm, sensitive communicators, who are accepting of varied child-rearing practices and diverse lifestyles. Interest in early childhood development, experience in education or facilitation, previous PEPS group participation, or being a parent are welcome pluses.

Leaders attend a 4-hour training or 2-hour refresher.


Time Commitment

Leaders commit to leading a group for 12 consecutive weeks, fewer if you choose to co-lead with a friend, spouse, or partner. On average, leaders dedicate 3-4 hours a week, including preparation, meeting time, and communication with PEPS and your group. Newborn groups are 2 hours each week and Second Time Around are 1.5 hours.

All PEPS Groups are currently conducted virtually and will continue virtually for the remainder of the year, removing the need to travel to participants homes or community sites.

PEPS has daytime and evening options, most days of the week, and in many areas.



This is a wonderful way to divide the time commitment and double the resources for group participants. Co-leaders typically attend the first and last weeks together and alternates meetings in between. Co-leaders may also swap childcare during meeting time.

Co-leaders are most successful when they are acquainted with one another, but we can help you find a match as well. Ask a PEPS friend, other friends and colleagues or someone who hasn't been part of a PEPS group. Parents, in evening groups especially, appreciate hearing from men and women.


Group Leader Training

NEW ONLINE Training system: Launched in October 2021

Volunteer Group Leaders are assigned as Trainees on the Varikko LMS Training portal and are expected to go through self-paced training on this ONLINE portal. Leaders will receive a separate email after Group Assignment inviting them to sign on to Vairkko. Here they will have access to several training modules to be completed sequentially. The first Pre-Training module includes a Background check form and a Leader Commitment Statement required to be signed by all PEPS leaders. Modules 1 through 4 contain  6–8-minute videos that must be watched completely followed by a short test meant to help summarize the important concepts from that module. Leaders should plan to complete these modules before their assigned date for the fifth instructor-led Training module. They can reach out to the assigned Training Instructor (copied in the Group assignment email) for any help needed during the process. If done at one stretch, these modules on Vairkko can be completed in 2 to 2.5 hours.

Note 1: Please make sure to sign in to VAIRKKO as soon as possible when you receive the invitation. If there are any issues signing in or accessing the training modules, knowing sooner than later will help ensure there is plenty of time to troubleshoot the problem so you can complete the modules before the Instructor-led training on Zoom.

After completion of the self-paced modules on Vairkko, Group Leaders will join a 2-hour instructor-led module and facilitation practice on Zoom where other leaders will be joining them. The Group Assignment email will have their chosen Facilitation Practice/Training date. They will receive Zoom details in a separate email from the specific instructor for their Training date.

If you have any questions regarding the process, please email PEPS Leader Impact Manager, Swarnima Aswinkumar


Group Leader Engagement

Leaders will receive a monthly Group Leader e-newsletter with resources, information on upcoming PEPS Events, and Advanced Facilitation Training opportunities for PEPS leaders.

Leader Coffee & Chat sessions provide an opportunity for leaders to connect with others from their region and engage with PEPS Program staff. Currently, we are hosting online leader chats in to discuss topics related to leading PEPS groups virtually. Find the latest schedule on the PEPS Group Leaders Facebook page.


Leader Manual

Each leader receives a handbook that provides detailed information and all the tools you'll need to plan meetings, guide discussions and support new parents.



We request that volunteers facilitate meetings without their own children present to give their full attention to the participants. Co-leaders can swap dates, evening group leaders may find childcare coverage at home, and some folks line up a friend who volunteers to handle childcare each week while the volunteer leads the group.


Planned and Unplanned Absences

With advance notice, PEPS may be able to find a substitute for a meeting. Or, you may suggest your group meets on their own for one week and then extend the session to a 13th week that the leader can attend.


Support and Mentorship

PEPS staff are available throughout your group to answer questions, provide suggestions, and help you navigate sensitive situations. We can also connect you with an experienced leader mentor and a discussion forum to ask questions and share ideas with other leaders.


Other Requirements

We require our volunteer group facilitators to be current with the Tdap vaccine booster. Getting vaccinated with Tdap at least two weeks before coming into close contact with an infant is advised.

Group leaders also have a Washington State background check before working with parents and children.

Group leaders need to be able to access online rosters and email and have transportation to their group meetings.


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