There is no better time for child care advocacy than NOW
In 2021, the federal government announced an ambitious program to build a Canada-wide system of early learning and childcare in partnership with the governments of each province and territory. The federal 2021 budget allocated $27.2 billion for the project for the first five years and promised that after the five years, starting in 2026-2027, it would transfer a minimum of $9.2 billion annually to the provinces and territories to support early learning and child care. Also, the federal government reaffirmed its commitment to the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, and ear-marked significant funding to support its implementation.
Canada’s provinces and territories have agreed to be part of a new Canada-wide system of early learning and child care and to support the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework. (Quebec is not opposed to what the federal government is trying to achieve through its new initiative but, for a variety of reasons, the province signed an asymmetrical funding agreement with the Government of Canada, and will use its share of the federal funds to expand and improve its own publicly funded system of low-fee child care.) This consensus, brokered by the largest ever federal investment in history, opens an unprecedented opportunity for child care advocates to push for policy changes that will lead to inclusive child care for all.
About this toolkit
This toolkit has been developed to support advocacy for equitable access to inclusive licensed early learning and child care. It is one of several resources produced through the Inclusive Child Care for All project carried out collaboratively by Oxfam Canada, Child Care Now and the Childcare Resource and Research Unit and funded by Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) Canada and the generous Canadian public.
Canada has a big gap between supply and demand for licensed child care
The demand for licensed ELCC far exceeds supply. There are enough licensed child care programs for only 29 per cent of children under 13 years old. The availability is very limited in rural and northern areas but there is also a scarcity of spaces in urban and suburban neighbourhoods. Waiting lists for programs are long. Infant child care is especially difficult to find and that means mothers in the paid labour force must either quit their jobs when their parental leave runs out, or, if their employer allows, take an extended leave without pay.
Access to spaces that exist is also inequitable for reasons beyond availability. The relatively high cost of licensed child care puts it out of the reach of most low-income and many medium-income families. Often, the location of child care centres or home-based providers make it inaccessible to families, especially those who must rely on public transportation. Children who need additional or specialized learning and care support are often excluded. Children and parents with physical disabilities can be prevented from using licensed child care because facilities are not accessible. Culture and language can play a role especially if families do not see their culture and language reflected in the pedagogy, or in the staff.
The accessibility gap is inequitable
All these barriers to access are particularly high for parents and families who experience systemic and inter-sectional discrimination impacting every aspect of their lives. These include children and families who are Indigenous, Black, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, refugees, recent immigrants, linguistic minorities, and/or those who have disabilities. For example, we know that marginalized people and communities are more likely to be low-income, and more likely to require non-standard child care which is not as available as child care that is offered full-day, Monday to Friday, 7 am to 6 pm.
Also, members of groups that suffer historic and ongoing discrimination are more likely to live in neighbourhoods with lower access to public services, including child care. They are more likely to encounter cultural and language challenges. Many parents who regularly experience overt and systemic discrimination are understandably wary of accessing child care programs that don’t have the resources or capacity to ensure full inclusion broadly defined.
Why do equitable access and inclusion matter?
High quality licensed ELCC enhances the well-being and unique development of children, often with lasting impact into adulthood. Research shows that children who are economically or otherwise disadvantaged do benefit but that positive effects depend on high quality services. Inequitable access to licensed programs, which are generally of higher quality, therefore goes against the rights of all children, and especially the rights of those who are marginalized.
Universal and equitable access to reliable licensed child care also gives all parents an opportunity to access education, training, and employment. It support parents with child-rearing and helps with work-life balance.
Statistics Canada research published in 2021 found that participation in any kind of non-parental care (licensed and unlicensed) was much lower for both low income and low education parents, with no significant differences between lone-parent and two-parent families. When looking at type of child care, parents with higher incomes and more education were more likely to use (licensed) centre-based child care. When relevant characteristics were controlled for, such as employment, immigration status and child age, the differences in use of regulated child care by family income and parents’ education levels were reduced but still statistically significant.
Research tells us that mothers who use child care participate more fully in the paid workforce resulting in higher family income and greater economic security. Higher participation rates translate into higher government tax revenue, lower rates of poverty, and other social and economic benefits. The economic benefits of universally accessible child care have been calculated to be far greater than what governments would have to pay to provide universal access.
An international study of unequal access observed that in Canada access to ECEC is restricted for all families whatever their income, circumstances, or residential area. Researchers attributed this to a combination of: inadequate supply of child care places (at that time covering only 24% of 0 – 5-year-olds and unevenly distributed); parental fees for child care that are unaffordable for many families; kindergarten provision that doesn’t begin until age five for most children; and child care quality shown to be mediocre at best.
Poor access to dependable child care, on the other hand, contributes to the exclusion of mothers from employment or education, increases their marginalization and isolation, undermines gender equality, and widens economic and social equity gaps. It is also a drag on the economy.
When licensed early learning and child care is inaccessible, parents are forced to look at informal and unregulated alternatives which are less reliable, generally of lower quality, and often expensive. Licensed child care programs are more likely to be staffed by qualified early childhood educators. The federal government’s new early learning and child care policy and public investments are directed at reducing parent fees and improving quality of licensed programs. Inequitable availability means the benefits of this very large public investment are inequitably distributed.
Research shows that in addition to the general scarcity of licensed child care everywhere in Canada, inequities of access exists by community type (urban-rural), for Indigenous children, for children whose parents work non-standard hours, for newcomers to Canada (immigrants and refugees), for children with disabilities and for children living in low-income families.
Early learning and child care should be a public good, not a commodity
Governments in Canada have historically regarded child care as a private responsibility. Parents are essentially on their own when it comes to finding child care and paying for it. This is the case also for private individuals or organizations who establish programs on either a not-for-profit or for-profit basis. Child care programs operators usually decide where programs are located, how many children will be served, which age groups will be included, what hours they will operate, who will staff the programs, how much they will pay staff.
Of course, provincial and territorial governments, which are constitutionally responsible for early learning and child care, all have legislation and regulations that govern operators. There are limits placed on how many children can be in the care of unlicensed child care providers. Licensed providers must maintain minimum staffing levels and hire a minimum number of qualified early childhood educators. And there are rules on health and safety standards, and minimum space allocations. But Canada’s legislated minimum standards, like public funding and support for child care, fall short of measures that exist in many other countries.
“Low-income parents and lone parents were more likely to postpone or discontinue their schooling or training or their return to work because of the difficulties in finding a child care arrangement. This might be due to the nature or type of employment or because low-income parents and lone parents may have more difficulties in adjusting their working hours and schedules (Foley and Schwartz 2002) and are therefore more likely to sacrifice their return or their schooling and training opportunities.” (Statistics Canada, Economic and Social Reports, Vol. 1, No.8, August 2021)
The overall approach to early childhood education and care in Canada is known as a market-approach. It stands in marked contrast to how governments in Canada treat public education. For example, parents are not expected to cobble together arrangements of school-age children. All school-age children are legally entitled to public education and therefore governments are obliged to make schooling accessible and inclusive.
The public education system has shortcomings, but we have seen continuous improvements with respect to equitable access and inclusion over many years. This is because there are mechanisms in place to make the system accountable to communities, parents, and children. Parents do not pay tuition for public education because it is funded through government expenditures. Early childhood educators who work in public education are better paid, receive better benefits and have more favourable working conditions than early childhood educators who work in Canada’s private not-for-profit and for-profit licensed child care sector.
A child care market is a “situation in which the state has relatively little influence on or interest in how services for young children are set up, maintained and delivered, rather than a public or publicly-managed system based on the ideas of communal obligations and social citizenship” Lloyd, E., & Penn, H. (2012). Childcare markets: Can they deliver an equitable service? Policy Press.
Canada’s governments are developing new action plans for ELCC
The significant federal funding transfers to the provinces and territories, announced in the 2021 federal budget, are supposed to:
- support the implementation of the early learning and child care Indigenous framework
- bring down parent fees for licensed ELCC to $10 a day by March 31, 2026
- make not-for-profit and publicly delivered licensed ELCC more available across the country
- improve access to ELCC especially for vulnerable families and communities
- raise the quality of ELCC services and make them more inclusive
- improve the recruitment and retention rate of qualified early childhood educators
A study of inclusiveness of early childhood education and care (ECEC) involving seven case studies across Europe found “when cultural and religious values of ethno-cultural minorities are not accounted for in ECEC services, parents with an immigration background tend to feel excluded.” The study found also that service providers in several countries favour two-parent families (by assuming that two parents can juggle their lives to get around shorter opening hours, for example), and exclude parents based on employment status (for example, by assuming that a parent who is in the paid labour force is more deserving of a space than one who is unemployed).
How each province or territory intends to meet these objectives is set out in action plans approved by the federal government. The first action plans cover the first two years of the five-year funding agreements signed by both levels of government. The second action plans covering 2023-24 to 2025-26 are being negotiated now.
What actions each provincial and territorial government decides to take (with federal government involvement and approval) over the next three years will shape what ELCC in Canada looks like for a long time to come. We know from the experience in and outside of Canada that some actions are more effective than others for building an equitable system of ELCC. Also, we know which government policies make equitable access and inclusion happen.
“As indicated by the OECD (2016), for children younger than 3 years of age, participation rates in formal ELCC increased with family income and with maternal education in most OECD countries. However, in many OECD countries, particularly countries where the ELCC services are publicly operated or directly subsidized, the gaps in child care use between family income levels largely shrank or disappeared once maternal employment was taken into account.” (Statistics Canada, Economic and Social Reports, Vol. 1, No.8, August 2021)
We need transformational system change not more patches
Canada’s child care advocates believe the federal government’s major financial investment in child care must drive transformational change in ELCC with regard to public responsibility for funding, management and delivery.
We want the current market model of child care provision replaced with a universal public system that will make high quality, affordable, inclusive, flexible, culturally safe, regulated early learning and child care accessible to all who want it. We want those who work in the sector to be properly valued and compensated so that shortages of qualified early childhood educators can start to be addressed.
Child care advocates stress that construction of a Canada-wide system of ELCC must honour and respect the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, which sees Indigenous “children and families supported by a comprehensive and coordinated system of ELCC policies, programs and services that are led by Indigenous peoples, rooted in Indigenous knowledges, cultures and languages, and supported by strong partnerships of holistic, accessible and flexible programming that is inclusive of the needs and aspirations of Indigenous children and families.”
Any and all decisions federal, provincial and territorial governments make on ELCC must honour and respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the Calls for Justice issued by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and Jordan’s Principle.
Getting from what we have to inclusive early learning and child care for all
Child Care Now, Canada’s national child care advocacy organization has, in consultation with parents, early childhood educators, child care policy experts, and many social justice organizations, developed a Roadmap to high quality early learning and child care for all.
Our roadmap identifies two foundational changes that governments must make:
- Replace private funding and private management of the supply of ELCC services with public funding and public management, and
- Develop concrete strategies to increase the supply of not-for-profit and public ELCC
Full and sufficient public funding
In most of Canada, public funding for regulated ELCC is provided through a patchwork of government grants that fall far short of what is needed to cover the costs of high-quality programs.
To build a high quality ELCC system while bringing down parent fees to the federal government’s target of $10 a day by 2025-26, provincial and territorial governments must increase public expenditures on early learning and child care. Public funding must be sufficient to support inclusion of all children and families, and to support the provision of early learning and child care in the first language of official language minorities. Public funding must be directed to ELCC operators (known as “supply side” funding), rather than to parents (known as “demand side” funding).
Giving parents public funds in the form of cash transfers or parent fee subsidies does not lead to higher quality services, nor to an increased supply of services. Additionally, government-funded parent fee subsidy systems are not designed to be universally accessible. Even low-income parents can be disqualified. For example, in almost all jurisdictions, only parents who are employed or in full-time studies can receive subsidies. Most governments put limits on how much they will spend on parent fee subsidy programs. Therefore, some parents who meet the eligibility tests can be denied, or they may receive only partial subsidies.
Child care advocates want provincial, territorial and federal governments to commit to building a Canada-wide system of early learning and child care that:
- Provides sufficient public funding directly to licensed ELCC operators in support of high quality inclusive programs for all.
- Distributes public funding to licensed early learning and child care programs using formulae that ensure licensed programs have the means to properly and fairly compensate staff, and to pay for other operational costs
- Sets parent fees using a sliding scale tied to household income AND caps fees for all parents at a maximum of $10 a day for a full-day program (less for part-day caren and for low-income households).
Public funding with conditions
All publicly funded operators must advance the goals of high quality, affordability, accessibility, flexibility, and inclusive early learning and child care. Child care advocates want governments to impose the following conditions on operators that receive public funds.
- In each jurisdiction, staff must be compensated according to a competitive salary scale decided in negotiations with provincial/territorial representatives of those who work in the sector.
- The parent fee structure of the province/territory must be respected. Extra-billing for services must be prohibited.
- Operators must ensure cultural safety for Indigenous children and families and respect the principles set out in the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care framework.
- Children with additional support needs must be able to fully participate in the program
- Programs must respect and welcome all children and families in all their diversities and identities, including Indigenous children and families, children and families with differing abilities, racialized children and families, immigrant and refugee children and families, LGBTQ2+ families and children.
- Operators must adhere to and implement provincial/territorial/Indigenous pedagogical frameworks.
- Operators must participate in quality and system improvement as determined by the province/territory.
- Operators must establish a parent advisory body with input into operation of the centre or family child care services.
- Operators must provide the province/territory/Indigenous government and delegated authorities with financial and other information required for accountability purposes.
- Operators must participate in research, data collection and evaluation.
- Operators must be publicly transparent and accountable in financial and governance matters.
Publicly funded and managed expansion of licensed ELCC
In every jurisdiction in Canada there is an urgent need to increase the supply of licensed ELCC. This demand is rising with the lowering of parent fees.
Provincial and territorial governments must assume responsibility for planning, managing, and funding a major expansion of the system. Only public expansion strategies can put an end to the mismatch between supply and demand. Child care deserts are pervasive in Canada because individuals or private groups have neither the capacity nor the funds to develop services on their own. They also lack the inclination to locate them where they are most needed.
Child care advocates want the action plan of each province and territory to include an explicit and detailed commitment to develop and implement a multifaceted expansion plan that includes:
- Targets and timetables to increase coverage.
- A recruitment, retention and workforce development strategy based on the coverage targets.
- Creating new, or expanding existing, local or regional public authorities to take responsibility for ELCC planning.
- A capital planning process and funding allocations to meet expansion targets.
- Integrating ELCC expansion into public planning processes at all levels (for example, plans to develop lands for housing or commercial use should include ELCC.
- Strategies for expanding ELCC in existing and new publicly owned buildings, and/or properties, and publicly owned land.
- Strategies for ensuring that all publicly funded capital assets — regardless of where they are developed, or who develops them — remain in public hands.
- Ensuring that there is data collection, research, evaluation, and reporting on all aspects of expansion.
No expansion of for-profit ELCC
The most recent comprehensive report on early childhood education and care in Canada, published by the Child Care Research and Resource Unit, tells us that 43% of ELCC centres, and 29% of full-day and part-day centre spaces, provided services on a for-profit basis in 2021. The proportion of full-day and part-day for-profit centre spaces in 2021 is slightly higher than it was in 2019 for all of Canada. In Alberta, the percentage of for-profit centre spaces increased from 59% to 66%.
Child care advocates want an end to the expansion of for-profit licensed child care because
growth of for-profit child care is detrimental to building a universal, equitable, high quality child care system.
Evidence shows that the for-profit child care sector works to circumvent government regulations, drive down ELCC wages and compensation, and quality standards while driving up parent fees.
For-profit child care operators have been consolidating across provinces, countries and globally. In Canada, small owner-operated for-profit providers are being taken over by larger providers. The expansion and consolidation of large-scale commercial operations is particularly dangerous because it puts supply of services in the hands of a few profit-motivated enterprises. These corporate entities can use their control of supply to demand fewer regulations and/or more government funding to make profit.
The federal government’s 2021 ELCC funding initiative has made Canada a magnet for child care investment firms who see a publicly funded Canada-wide ELCC system as an opportunity for profiteering.
If Canada’s aim is to build a publicly funded and managed, accessible, affordable, high quality and equitable early learning and child care system, expanding for-profit services is demonstrably a wrong direction. Any expansion of early learning and child care services must be public and non-profit only.
A well-qualified ELCC workforce is central to a high-quality inclusive ELCC system. Decent compensation and working conditions are necessary to attract and retain qualified early childhood educators and other staff.
Compensation for those who work in ELCC must be paid from public funds according to a provincially/territorially established salary grid that ensures decent, competitive wages and benefits, and encourages further education and professional development.
Governments must also act to address other factors that impede the retention and recruitment of early childhood educators. These include:
- Difficult working conditions such as long hours and unpaid overtime, split shifts, inadequate paid leave, work load, requirement to handle complex learning and care needs of children without sufficient and/or ongoing support.
- Job insecurity and precarious employment.
- Lack of publicly managed and planned expansion to ensure an adequate supply of qualified early childhood educators where they are needed.
- Uneven and in some cases limited access to affordable ECE public post-secondary education and professional development.
- Under-developed or weak human resource capacity and policies, including challenges related to the qualifications and support of program leadership.
- Limited occupational mobility.
- Barriers to unionization which has proven to be an essential and effective mechanism for employees in other predominantly female occupations and sectors, such as health care and public education, to improve compensation, working conditions, job security, and job satisfaction.
- Low morale and sense of government and societal disrespect for the value of ELCC work.
Data and research
Building a quality system of ELCC is an ongoing project that requires ongoing quality and system corrections and improvements. Such corrections and improvements must be based on experience, evidence, and evaluation.
Child care advocates want the government to take responsibility for proper data collection, analysis, and research to assess the development of the Canada-wide system of early learning and child care. We want a Canada-wide, federally coordinated, approach to data and research developed and carried out collaboratively across the federal government, with provincial/territorial/Indigenous partners, and with adequate funding for external researchers and the child care community. Data and research should be public.
A quality ELCC system—especially one built through the significant expenditure of public funds—demands effective public accountability. Governments must develop and publish annual and multi-year ELCC plans, monitor and report publicly on their progress, and update plans based on lessons learned and the evolving ELCC needs and context.
More specifically, child care advocates want governments to commit to, and require of operators, robust public accountability, including:
- Publicly available plans, with targets and benchmarks for quality, affordability, inclusion, and accessibility.
- Annual public reports comparing actual results to plans and explaining significant variances.
- Clear, comprehensive public reporting standards to ensure relevant, timely, consistent, and comparable data and information that the public can access easily, including but not limited to data on parent fees, compensation of early childhood educators, rates of coverage, rates of inclusion, access according to household income, Indigenous identity, race, geographic location, and other factors.
- A defined role for legislators to receive, review, clarify, question reports and data, and the opportunity for legislators to hear evidence from government and non-government witnesses.
- Meaningful and government-supported citizen engagement in the development of ELCC goals, plans and monitoring of results.
- Audited public financial reports from operators to add credibility and increase public confidence.
From parent advisory groups to citizen engagement processes at all levels of government, democratic participation should inform and support the implementation of a quality ELCC system. A broad range of citizens who care about child care must be involved, including children and parents, educators, employers, advocates, researchers and academics.
Child care advocates want democratic participation in building Canada’s ELCC system to incorporate two fundamental principles:
(1) Participation is meaningful
All aspects of ELCC engagement processes – from design to delivery and follow-up – should be informed by a diversity of stakeholders whose views are respectfully considered. Governments must provide stakeholders with clear, relevant information in advance about the scope of the engagement process (e.g., limitations or constraints, range of interests and choices to be considered) and how their input will be used to shape government decisions.
(2) Participation is valued
ELCC primarily affects parents with young children and educators, yet they are the least likely to have the time and/or resources to inform the system’s development. Governments must provide resources and infrastructure to support and value their participation, according to their needs and areas of involvement. For example, the ELCC program funding formula could include funds to support quarterly family programs (with paid time for staff) to share information about the evolving system and opportunities for input.
For decades, the child care advocacy movement has relied on the largely volunteer work of advocates – mainly women – who engage with families, educators and communities, develop and share research-based policy recommendations, carry out and disseminate research, create comprehensive child care plans and mobilize public and political support. While volunteers will always play an important role in the movement, relying on women’s unpaid/underpaid labour is a barrier to participation. Their time, energy and expertise should be resourced with core, long-term, organizational public funding support that prioritizes the inclusion of diverse voices and multiple perspectives and experiences in the child care advocacy movement.
Acting with others is best
Decision-makers are more likely to act on an issue if they think the issue matters to a lot of people. The first step to effective advocacy is to connect with others who are likely to share your concern. E-mail email@example.com or direct message @child_care_now to find other child care advocates in your community. Child Care Now can also help you build a network of child care advocates if one does not already exist.
Meet decision-makers face-to-face
Decision-makers will pay attention if you get their attention. Figuring out which decision-makers to speak to is the first step. Start by contacting your elected local, provincial, and federal representatives. Their contact information is available to the public whereas public service officials are more difficult to seek out.
It is always best to meet with elected decision-makers, and always good to have several advocates to attend the meeting. Prepare for the meeting together with other advocates. Decide ahead of time what you would like the elected official to do. Gather evidence and arguments in support of your request. Take notes during the meeting. If the elected official asks questions you cannot answer, or asks for information you do not have, say you will seek out the answers or information and forward them after the meeting. Encourage the elected official to commit to taking action on your request. Within a day or two of the meeting, send a thank you letter, card or email and include a summary of whatever commitments the elected official made. It is important to let as many people know about your meeting and what the elected official said. You can let other advocates know by getting word out through emails, e-letters (or electronic news bulletins) or through social media using appropriate “tags.” You can let the public know by getting in touch with journalists who you think would be interested in writing a story about the issue. You can write a commentary on the issue and seek to get it published by print or on-line newspapers.
Organize public meetings
A meeting with an elected official usually involves only a few advocates and the decision-maker. A public meeting can bring many more people together. You can use public meetings to
- build awareness of your issue and your proposed solutions;
- broaden support for your proposed solutions;
- apply pressure on decision-makers to consider your proposed solutions.
Your meeting should be designed and organized to achieve whatever objective(s) you decide are necessary. For example, if you are using a public meeting to put pressure on elected officials make sure they are in the room, and make sure that everyone (or close to everyone) supports your policy solutions. If you are using it to broaden awareness of your issue, and support for your policy solutions, make sure the room is not filled with people who already know the issue and are on your side.
Advocacy rarely works if you don’t organize and mobilize
Making change involves (a) constantly working to increase the number of supporters (and keeping lists so that we know who they are and how to reach them) and (b) getting supporters to engage in activities that demonstrate growing strength. There are lots of activities that make numeric strength visible including letter-writing campaigns, petitions, rallies, and boycotts. Increasing the number of supporters through outreach, education, and other tactics to convince those not already convinced is called “organizing.” Getting our supporters to act is called “mobilizing.”
Don’t depend on digital
Social media and other forms of digital communications like web sites and e-mail blasts are very useful tools to get information out to large audiences but unfortunately good digital communications require more resources than child care advocates are likely to have. The best way to reach large audiences from digital platforms is to ask supportive organizations, with large digital audiences, to amplify your messages.
Don’t buy into the myth that digital communications are the most efficient way to convince decision-makers to act on your issues. Elected officials are less and less responsive to digital pressure campaigns. They will almost always pay more attention to letters, emails, or phone calls sent by constituents than they will hundreds of electronic form letters or messages. The most effective personal communications are those that tell a compelling story and call on the elected politician to respond. If you organize this kind of letter-writing or message-writing initiative, encourage those who take part to copy you so that you can track how many letters or messages were sent and you can personally thank those who participated.
Advocacy campaigns demonstrate collective strength, organization and persistence
The kind of system change that child care advocates want requires many changes in government policy that are most likely to be introduced incrementally over a period of time. Advocacy campaigns are a means to put concerted, coordinated, and constant pressure on policy makers to make a series of changes that bring us immediate positive results, but also bring us closer to our vision of a fully equitably accessible and inclusive ELCC system.
Advocacy campaigns typically involve more than one activity, and each activity is carefully chosen to broaden our base of support, increase our skills and capacity to advocate, while also having a significant impact on decision-makers.
The child care movement almost always has one campaign or another in motion. We encourage every child care advocate to join Child Care Now, or sign up to our mailing list, to stay informed of national campaign activities and activities organized by our provincial chapter. If you live in Ontario, join our affiliate, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. If you live in British Columbia we encourage you to join our affiliate, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC.
There are many tool kits available on the Internet that give detailed pointers on how to carry out advocacy activities including the Ontario Nonprofit Network’s Guide for Nonprofits to Meaningfully Engage your Community.