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This study assessed whether previous findings linking early maternal employment to lower cognitive and behavioral skills among middle-class and White children generalized to other groups. Using a representative sample of urban, low-income, predominantly African American and Hispanic families (= 444), ordinary least squares regression and propensity score matching models assessed links between maternal employment in the 2 years after childbearing and children’s functioning at age 7. Children whose mothers were employed early, particularly in their first 8 months, showed enhanced socioemotional functioning compared to peers whose mothers remained nonemployed. Protective associations emerged for both part-time and full-time employment, and were driven by African American children, with neutral effects for Hispanics. Informal home-based child care also heightened positive links.