This paper studies the relation between mothers’ employment and their children’s schooling in India, where a high number of children are not attending school at compulsory school age. Using the second National Family Health Survey, the results of a joint multi-level random effects model show that, controlling for covariates, the correlation between mothers’ employment and children’s schooling is negative. A sensitivity analysis on wealth and education deciles shows that this relation disappears in urban areas and becomes weaker in rural areas only at the top wealth deciles, but persists for the more educated mothers. The last result may be driven by the low number of females with a high level of education in India, but it also seems to envisage that, for mothers with lower education, being literate does not increase pay conditions. These findings suggest that policies aiming at improving both women’s and children’s welfare should not only pursue higher levels of education, but also target improvements in women’s conditions in the labour market.