This paper draws on data from the Health Care for Children Project to consider issues of access to health care for children in low-income families in three geographic areas. Group and individual interviews were held with mothers in an innercity area and two outlying suburbs. Financial, geographic, sociocultural and other barriers to use of health services are discussed. Major obstacles to access to health care for their children identified by the mothers included cost of medication, hours of opening, transport and language. The paper highlights the impact of even quite small charges for health services on low-income families.