This study examines the contribution of early phonological processing (PP) and language skills on later phonological awareness (PA) and morphological awareness (MA), as well as the links among PA, MA, and reading. Children 4–6 years of age with poor PP at the start of school showed weaker PA and MA 3 years later (age 7–9), regardless of their language skills. PA and phonological and morphological strategies predict reading accuracy, whereas MA predicts reading comprehension. Our findings suggest that children with poor early PP are more at risk of developing deficits in MA and PA than children with poor language. They also suggest that there is a direct link between PA and reading accuracy and between MA and reading comprehension that cannot be accounted for by strategy use at the word level. Publisher statement: The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence . The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.