About the center

The Center for Economic Security and Opportunity (formerly the Center on Children and Families) produces data-driven, non-partisan analysis to address challenging U.S. social policy questions. In a noisy and polarized world, the Center is a trustworthy source for the information and tools policymakers need to build an economy that works for everyone.   

Building a thriving and inclusive economy is an essential building block for a healthy democracy, and data-driven policy can provide the foundation for Americans from all backgrounds to prosper. The Center for Economic Security and Opportunity identifies critical social policy challenges; studies how to address them creatively and effectively, recognizing that important trade-offs are present in any hard policy arena; and seeks common ground for politically viable solutions.  

The Center’s work is focused on three foundational pillars for broad-based prosperity:  

  1. Meeting fundamental needs through a robust safety net and good jobs,  
  2. Building skills through quality education, training, and opportunities for personal development, and 
  3. Strengthening capacities of families and communities through investment in the care economy, immigrant integration, and other social infrastructure.  

Ensuring access to these pillars requires attention to people and communities who are often overlooked in discussions about the economy: those living in or near poverty, those from marginalized racial and ethnic groups, and those facing current or historical exclusion. The Center’s work includes rigorous analysis of the socioeconomic conditions in which these communities live as well as perspectives from a diverse set of stakeholders and policymakers to shape the broader conversation and create positive change.  

The Center for Economic Security and Opportunity was formerly known as the Center on Children and Families which focused on policies that affect the well-being of America’s children and their parents, especially children in less advantaged families. The Center’s name change reflects the evolution of its work and broader focus.