About Us


The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families (Center) is a hub of research to help programs and policy better serve low-income Hispanic children and families. Our research focuses on poverty reduction and economic self-sufficiency; fatherhood, family structure, and family dynamics; and early care and education. A key part of our mission is to support and advance the research community by providing tools, resources, and support for emerging scholars. The Center is led by Child Trends, in partnership with Duke University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and University of Maryland, College Park. The Center is supported by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Early Care and Education

Our research in the Early Care and Education (ECE) area seeks to better understand access to ECE for Hispanic families with low incomes across multiple dimensions. We examine:

  • National and local trends in ECE use among infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • ECE cost and affordability
  • Predictors of quality of care
  • The training, experience, and characteristics of the ECE workforce serving Hispanic children
  • How ECE providers meet the needs of employed parents
  • How Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) policies are being implemented in select states and local communities, and implications for low-income Hispanic families

Fatherhood, Family Structure, and Family Dynamics

Our research in this area examines Hispanic family life and programmatic efforts aimed to support family functioning, such as Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs. We examine:

  • The early learning environments of Latino children
  • Family formation and dissolution patterns and household characteristics of Latino children in households with low incomes
  • The characteristics of Latino fathers, including father involvement and attitudes towards relationships and childbearing
  • How HMRF programs reach, retain, and effectively serve Hispanic families, couples, and individuals
  • Levels of parent engagement, family relationships, and household resources, and their links to child wellbeing
  • The alignment of HMRF program design and delivery with the needs of low-income Hispanic families with children

Poverty Reduction and Self-Sufficiency

Our Poverty Reduction and Self-Sufficiency research seeks to better understand the economic characteristics and resources of Hispanic parents and families, the contributing role of policy and practice on economic well-being by shaping access to and use of social services, and the implications for children’s health and well-being. We examine:

  • Variation in how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and related social policies are designed and implemented across states with large populations of low-income Hispanic children
  • Education and economic mobility of Hispanic parents
  • How national policy recommendations for poverty reduction may have different consequences, opportunities and implications among Hispanic families, who represent a high proportion of the income poor