Non-obligatory control constructions (NOC) are sentences which contain a non-finite clause with a null subject whose reference is determined pragmatically. Little is known about how children assign reference to these subjects, yet this is important as our current understanding of reference-resolution development is limited to less complex sentences with overt elements, such as pronouns. This study explores how seventy-six children (aged six to eleven) consult pragmatic leads when assigning reference in two examples of NOC. Children undertook three picture-selection tasks, containing no lead, a weak lead, and a strong lead, and their reference choices in the critical sentences were monitored. The novel results pinpoint children's baseline interpretations of the ambiguous sentences and expose an age trend in the degree to which they consult strong pragmatic leads when resolving reference. These trends illustrate how reference assignment in more complex discourse-governed contexts progresses, thereby contributing an important dimension to the pragmatics acquisition literature.