Moms struggling to make ends meet shouldn’t necessarily feel bad about heading back to work soon after having a child. A new study, published by the American Psychological Association, found that these kids may actually do better once they start kindergarten than children whose moms stayed home, especially if they’re from low-income homes, NBC News reported.

For the study, Boston College researchers consulted survey data and kindergarten test scores from 10,000 children born in 2001. Scientists specifically looked at whether or not their moms had jobs when the kids were 9 months old and 2 years old.

Overall, researchers found that about a third–31 percent–of these moms didn’t work for the first two years of their child’s life. Eleven percent worked when their kid was age 9 months to age 2. The majority of mothers–58 percent–ended up going back to work before their baby was 9 months old.

In addition, by the time low-income kids reached kindergarten, they boasted better test scores if their moms were working. For middle-income kids, there wasn’t much of a difference between children who had an employed mother. But in high-income families, kids with working moms actually did worse.

“Different cultural attitudes, more readily available and higher-quality child care and more fathers participating in childrearing are other possible reasons for the difference,” said Caitlin McPherran Lombardi, a postdoctoral research fellow at Boston College, who led the study.

The findings also make the case that low-income moms would benefit far more from paid maternal leave policies that would help encourage their employment after having a child.

Kids who grow up disadvantaged may also age faster when compared with their more privileged peers. Click here for more information.