Skip to Content

Personal tools

Leading PEPS Groups remotely

The situation with COVID-19 continues to change. While we look forward to a time when families can come together in person again, the health and safety of those who lead and participate in groups is our priority. Based on data and guidance from the State of Washington and King County Public Health, we have determined that all PEPS Groups will continue to meet online for the entirety of the sessions throughout 2021.

Social connection is critical to the health and well-being of parents. While we are not bringing families together in person, we are ensuring that new parents have opportunities to connect during this time, through a variety of platforms. Please use the platforms listed below, all of which are available for free, to conduct your weekly meetings.

We recommend facilitating video calls. Research shows that 55% of communication is body language, while another 38% is tone of voice – both of which are necessary to creating a communal atmosphere during a virtual meeting. The sound and quality of meetings may be affected by connectivity and browser speed.

1. Zoom

  • Free for meetings under 40 minutes.
  • Can be used to connect up to 100 people.
  • Meetings lasting over 40 minutes will require a paid account for which Group Leaders can be reimbursed. Please contact us for more details.
  • Be sure to protect the privacy of your Zoom meeting by updating select settings. Access and share the PEPS Zoom toolkit prior to the first meeting.

2. FaceTime

  • Free
  • Can be used to connect up to 32 people.
  • No limit on the length of meeting time.
  • Host and participants must all be using Apple products (eg. iPhone, iPad, iMac) to connect.

3. Google Hangouts

  • Free
  • Can be used to connect up to 25 people.
  • No limit on the length of meeting time.
  • Host needs to have a Gmail account, but can invite external users with any email provider.

4. Cisco/Webex

  • Free
  • Can be used to connect up to 100 people.
  • No limit on the length of meeting time.

5. There are many other free video conferencing options that your group can consider using.

Here are some additional tools on facilitating remote meetings:

Group Leaders have shared these tips on hosting virtual PEPS meetings.

  • Virtual meetings might run shorter than the typical two hours and that’s OK. The group is still getting a chance to check in with one another and share how things are going.
  • It can help when participants mute their microphone when not speaking. Group Leaders can call on individuals or parents can signal when they would like to talk, and then unmute.
  • Remind participants to pause after speaking so that everyone has the opportunity to respond, and to listen closely for participants speaking up and sharing. It might be helpful to revisit Group Guidelines or to create new ones to reflect meeting virtually.
  • Encourage parents to take care of themselves. Mention to participants that they should feel free step away to change a diaper, get a snack, etc.
  • Developmental moments can be sharing something from the Zero to Five book or doing a screen-share to collectively watch a video.

Support and connection are vital for parents and their babies during a time that researchers know to be an already isolating period. We know that when we strengthen our connection with one another, we are healthier, more resilient, and more fulfilled.

As a reminder, all PEPS Groups will be conducted remotely for the entirety of their sessions through 2021. We ask that families only meet online during their scheduled meeting times. Some families within groups may express interest in finding ways to get together in person. These activities are considered elective and should be organized by the participants to take place at times that do not coincide with the regularly scheduled PEPS Group meetings. PEPS believes offering online-only programming at this time is the most equitable approach to providing clarity, consistency, and cohesion for group participants and facilitators. We recognize that the state and local guidance around meeting in person may change, and that different families have varying levels of risk tolerance.

To stay up to date with developments, visit our COVID-19 news page.

Have a question or tip to share? Contact your Community Connector or post on the PEPS Group Leaders Facebook Group.

In partnership, 
The PEPS Team

Document Actions