Number sense development was tracked from the beginning of kindergarten through the middle of first grade, over six time points. Children (n= 277) were then assessed on general math achievement at the end of first grade. Number sense performance in kindergarten, as well as number sense growth, accounted for 66 percent of the variance in first-grade math achievement. Background characteristics of income status, gender, age, and reading ability did not add explanatory variance over and above growth in number sense. Even at the beginning of kindergarten, number sense was highly correlated with end of first-grade math achievement (r= 0.70). Clarifying the observed slope effect, general growth mixture modeling showed that children who started kindergarten with low number sense but made moderate gains by the middle of kindergarten had higher first-grade math achievement than children who started out with similarly low number sense with flat growth. The majority of children in the low/flat growth class were from low-income families. The findings indicate that screening early number sense development is useful for identifying children who will face later math difficulties or disabilities.