ASaP (Access, Support and Participation)  was created in 2012 in response to The State of Inclusive Childcare in Alberta, a research study from Dr. Lesley Wiart and her colleagues, uncovered the challenges experienced by licensed childcare centres, and the limited resources available to support the inclusion of all children.

In response to these findings, GRIT adopted and enhanced the Pyramid Model in 2012 to create ASaP (Access, Support and Participation).

We are committed to supporting educators with the resources, connections, skills and confidence they need to support every child’s learning and development. Through funding by Alberta Children’s Services, licensed childcare centres across Alberta can participate at no cost.

Together with our community partners, high quality and inclusive environments are created to support every child’s learning and development.

Program Activities

Building on models and research around the world,  ASaP provides early childhood educators with the tools and resources they need to enrich the lives of children in their programs. ASaP includes five primary activities:

Professional Learning

The pyramid model

ASaP has adopted the evidence-based Pyramid Model, developed by the Centre on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, as the foundation for its professional learning. ASaP has enriched this learning within our Alberta context to include connections to:

  • Flight, Alberta’s early learning and care curriculum framework
  • Comprehensive practices for children with diverse abilities
  • Awareness of cultural diversity
  • Infant and child mental health practices
  • Brain development in the early years

The Pyramid Model provides the framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development:

  • We provide universal supports for all children through nurturing and responsive relationships and high-quality supportive environments
  • Our targeted supports provide intentional teaching to support the social and emotional development for some children
  • Working closely with families and educators, we develop an individual support plan and provide intensive supports for a few children

Practice-based coaching

Our coaches are here to support educators as they implement effective practices that lead to positive outcomes for children. Our practice-based coaching focuses on:

  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Shared goals and action planning
  • Engaging in focused observation
  • Reflection and sharing feedback

Practice-based coaching

Our coach is incredible. She is encouraging, supportive and knowledgeable. She listens and helps us problem solve when needed and shares in our successes.

Monitoring change

Monitoring change

We use the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT) for pre-school age groupings and the Teaching Pyramid Infant Toddler Observation Scale (TPITOS) to identify educators’ strengths and potential areas for professional goal setting, and to measure the growth of educators’ practices over time.

ASaP provides a model that is helpful in supporting all children. It feels proactive rather than reactive in how we work with children

Leadership development

We are committed to strengthening the critical role of leadership teams at each participating centre. Our leadership development includes:

  • Building skills and knowledge to navigate and successfully access supports needed for individual children
  • Engaging families in supporting their child’s social and emotional development
  • Program wide implementation of inclusive practices that are upheld by inclusive policy

Leadership development



In partnership with the University of Alberta we explore research questions to guide our implementation,  to monitor the programs’ impact and use data to inform and strengthen the program.

Our Learning Journey

Our professional learning and coaching to early childhood educators across Alberta gives educators the skills and confidence to support all children, at the right time and in the right place. We empower early childhood educators, families, and community partners to promote children’s healthy social and emotional development.

By providing foundational professional learning and practices, educators are better able to promote children’s health socially and emotionally. This allows children to explore their world, and experience meaningful participation and inclusion in every day interactions and routines.