At MDRC, we design and study solutions for issues across the policy spectrum—in education from preschool to postsecondary, in workforce development, and on issues related to individuals and families who are disconnected from the worlds of work and education.

We examine strategies that strengthen the effectiveness and accessibility of child care, early education, and home visiting services to produce long-lasting positive outcomes for children in families with low incomes. We also study ways to support a qualified early childhood workforce.

We study approaches that promote academic success, support social and emotional well-being, and respond to the differing challenges students face—all with the goal of improving the pathway from elementary through secondary school in preparation for postsecondary education and employment.

We evaluate strategies and interventions designed to help students from low-income backgrounds succeed in and complete college. We also help colleges and higher education government agencies use evidence to improve programs and practices.

We identify and study strategies to help young people—including those who have experienced periods of disconnection from school and work—access and thrive in education, training, and employment opportunities.

We study programs that aim to improve the economic outcomes of people who are involved in public systems, including food and cash assistance, child support, and child welfare. We also study strategies to support parents and build healthier family relationships.

We examine career and technical education, workforce development, savings and financial well-being initiatives, and employment and coaching services for people ranging from high school students to adults.

We develop and study housing assistance policies, community revitalization initiatives, and “place-based” employment programs that seek to improve the economic mobility of people who live in under-resourced neighborhoods.

The MDRC Center for Criminal Justice Research conducts research and assesses reforms and practices in the criminal justice system. We aim to increase fairness, reduce unnecessary incarceration, support public safety, lessen inequities, and improve the lives of the people and communities affected by the criminal justice system.