This paper examines the impact of low fertility and early age at sterilisation on women’s formal education and skill development in South India. Multilevel ordered-logit modelling of pseudo-cohort data re-organised from the three rounds of National Family Health Survey, and thematic analysis of qualitative data collected from Tamil Nadu and Kerala states showed no evidence of women’s resumption of formal education or uptake of skill development training in the post-sterilisation and post-childcare period. While resuming formal education in the post-sterilisation and post-childcare period is harder to achieve for various individual, household, community and policy reasons, there is greater preparedness and support for women to undertake skill development training. As low fertility and early age at sterilisation are widely regarded as the emerging reproductive norm in India, post-sterilisation and -childcare women will be a significant population group both in number and in proportional terms. No government policies or programs have so far recognised this group. India’s new government should consider targeted skill development programs for post-sterilisation and -childcare women appropriate to their social, economic and educational levels. An important contribution of the family planning program, particularly female sterilisation, for the economic and social development of the family and the wider society will otherwise be lost.