Parents of children aged 0 to 5 living in low-income households and the use of certain services

Montréal, June 27, 2017. – Parents who live in low-income households are not a homogeneous group: those who are employed behave differently from those who are unemployed with regard to the use of certain services and they do not face the same obstacles. These are the findings of a study released by the Institut de la statistique du Québec based on data from the 2015 Québec Survey on the Experience of Parents of Children Aged 0 to 5  (QSEPC).

In low-income households with at least one child aged 0 to 5, parents who are employed (54%) are more likely than parents who are both unemployed (40%) to involve their children in sports activities. On the other hand, a smaller proportion of these parents rely on services such as toy libraries or thrift stores (24% vs. 33% when both parents are unemployed).

In low-income households, parents face different obstacles with regard to the use of services offered to families depending on whether or not they are employed. Parents who are unemployed are more likely to mention the cost of such services (66%) or the fact that they are too far away or that it is too complicated to get there (35%) than parents who are employed (51% and 26% respectively). However, the latter are more likely to report that these services do not fit their schedules (73% vs. 50% when both parents are unemployed) or that they lack time (71% vs. 46% when both parents are unemployed).

The findings also reveal that parents living in low-income households who are both unemployed are more likely to express a need for information about various support services for families (financial assistance measures, food banks, clothing banks or other material assistance services, career counselling, training and job search services) than those in low-income households where at least one parent is employed.

The publication can be downloaded from the website of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.


About the QSEPC

Over 14,900 Québec parents with at least one child aged 0 to 5 completed the QSEPC questionnaire between January and May 2015. This statistical survey is regional in scope and provides findings on both mothers and fathers. It was funded by the organization Avenir d’enfants as part of the Perspectives parents initiative.  The study published today follows up on the release of the report Mieux connaître la parentalité au Québec in May 2016.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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