Great Starts Professional Training

Great Starts™ Professional Childbirth Educator Workshop and Training Program

Learn the information and skills needed to begin facilitating classes to expectant or new parents using effective techniques, and delivering research-based information impartially. 

Registration is now open for our April 2024 Workshop!

For more information, contact:

Sally Brady, Program Manager

We offer professional training workshops, Childbirth Educator Certification, continuing education opportunities, and consultation for hospitals and clinics.

Our training supports those interested in learning how to professionally and effectively facilitate group learning about Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn.  Participants learn the information and skills needed to begin facilitating classes to expectant or new parents using effective techniques, and delivering research-based information impartially. 

About Us

Parent Trust for Washington Children’s Great Starts™ program (formerly known as Childbirth Education Association of Seattle, CEAS) is a recognized leader in childbirth education, with more than 60 years of experience.

Our program serves over 6000 people each year in prepared childbirth and infant parenting classes.

We author one of the most recognized books in the field, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, as well as The Simple Guide to Having a Baby (also available in Spanish).

Overview of the Workshop

Our workshop is designed to lay the foundation for facilitating prenatal classes, for nurses, midwives, labor support or postpartum doulas, physical therapists, maternal-child health care professionals, as well as other professionals or those in training who have a solid working knowledge of the birth process. Participants learn how to effectively share that knowledge with expectant families.

Class participants are taught:

The labor coping techniques we emphasize are the 3R’s

Relaxation, Rhythm, and Ritual, a method first described by Penny Simkin while observing how women naturally cope when they are given the support they need and feel safe. We also cover pain medications and medical interventions as tools in the toolbox to be used when needed.

Purpose of the Workshop

We provide a comprehensive training program for aspiring educators.  Our training is focused on developing knowledge, skills, and confidence for facilitating prenatal, birth, and postpartum care classes for groups, yet the skill are applicable when working with expectant clients or patients one-on-one.

Newborn Care

Our Curriculum

We cover prioritizing what content to include, developing learner objectives, curriculum design, using research-based information, delivering content in an impartial manner, and using interactive teaching techniques which help class participants learn, retain, and apply their new knowledge with confidence, and know where to seek additional support before it is needed. 

An Important Step

Our training is also an important step to becoming a professionally certified childbirth educator, which is required by many employers. After our training, you have the option of pursuing certification with Great Starts™, International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), or, after you have taught for a while, you can certify via the Experienced Educator pathway with Lamaze® and other organizations.


This workshop meets Great Starts™ Certification requirements for professional childbirth educator’s training, is approved for 24 hours of continuing education with the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), and approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses for 25 Continuing Education credits, Provider # CEP16764. 

More Information

The Great Starts™ Professional Childbirth Educator Workshop (PCEW) is led by Cate Vrooman, MPH, CD (DONA), CCE, CLE, and includes facilitator Janelle Durham, MSW, co-author of our text, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (PCN) and other resources, Kim James, LCCE, founder of, and Tracy McPhillips, LCCE, CCE (GS),, PCD/PDT (DONA).

Here you will find information about upcoming trainings, cost, scholarships, location of training, cancellation policy, etc.

For the Great Starts Professional Childbirth Educator Workshop, we assume that all students have a solid level of knowledge about pregnancy, the labor and birth process, medical interventions for complications, newborn care, and postpartum. This assumption allows us to spend our class time focusing on how to teach the information to expectant parents.

Great Starts can provide personalized consulting services, ranging from customized childbirth educator trainings or staff inservices, and development of educational materials or curriculum design for a comprehensive range of classes. Contact Sally Brady, Great Starts Program Manager, for more information:

Our certification process is the highest national standard in the profession of Childbirth Educators. By completing the Great Starts Certification, educators know that they are getting a “great start” professionally so that they are, in turn, well equipped to help prepare families on how to have a “great start” as expectant or new parents.

The Great Starts Professional Childbirth Educator Workshop builds your skills in how to clearly communicate information to expectant couples. You may choose to use these skills to facilitate group learning, or to provide informal education, one-on-one, to expectant parents as a supplement to other services that you provide (e.g. education for hospital patients, doula support, midwifery care, etc.). However, the main emphasis of the workshop is learning to teach structured childbirth preparation classes to a group of adults of expectant parents, in a hospital setting or in the general community.

Parent Trust for WA Children is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16764, for 25 contact hours for the Great Starts™ Professional Childbirth Education Workshop.

Our workshop is also approved by ICEA for 24 contact hours (max allowed).

In addition to our workshop, we offer opportunities for Great Starts™ continuing education in the Seattle area for experienced childbirth educators. If you would like to be informed of these opportunities, or would like to schedule a training in your region, contact Sally Brady, Great Starts Program Manager: