The Bernard van Leer Foundation is a private grant-making foundation. Our mission is to improve opportunities for children up to age 8 who are growing up in socially and economically difficult circumstances. We see this both as a valuable end in itself and as a long-term means to promote more cohesive, considerate and creative societies with equal opportunities and rights for all. 

Latest news from the Bernard van Leer Foundation

Make the Invisible Visible: UNICEF urges louder voices and urgent action to fight violence against children 31-07-2013

Violence against children is all too often unseen, unheard and underreported, said UNICEF today, announcing an initiative that urges ordinary citizens, lawmakers and governments to speak out more forcefully to fight violence against children.

“In every country, in every culture, there is violence against children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “Whenever and wherever children are harmed, our outrage and anger must be seen and heard. We must make the invisible visible.”

This is the underlying message as UNICEF launches the End Violence Against Children initiative, which urges people around the world to recognize violence against children, join global, national or local movements to end it and bring together new ideas to focus collective action on this goal. 

The initiative is unveiled with a powerful video narrated by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson, who leads the viewer through a series of scenes depicting invisible violence. “Just because you can’t see violence against children doesn’t mean it isn’t there,” Neeson says. “Make the invisible visible. Help us make violence against children disappear. Join us. Speak out.”

Watch the video:

Please go to the website and sign up to join the campaign.

'All Eyes Are on the United States', Lisa Jordan's New Blog for The Huffington Post 29-07-2013

Read Lisa Jordan's new blog for The Huffington Post.

Will we or will we not invest in our youngest citizens?

In February, President Obama announced his landmark Early Learning Initiative that would provide high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds, invest in high-quality infant and toddler early learning and development, and expand effective parent and family supports. Shortly thereafter, a new set of federal regulations were proposed which will go a long way to better address the quality of early learning experiences for all children, particularly around health and safety issues. Read More...

Investing in young children globally 26-07-2013

Why are leading scientists interested in investing in young children globally? In a new four-minute video from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, international experts in education, nutrition, psychology, health, and economics explain what we know about child development, and why it is critical to make integrated investments in young children throughout the world. 


This video is the product of a planning meeting held in March 2013 to explore the need for a new Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally at the Institute of Medicine. At the meeting, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners examined the global research on the period from birth to age eight as a critical time in shaping children’s developmental trajectories. They discussed the state of the research, as well as challenges and opportunities for translating research into programs and policies. Due to clear interest in establishing this forum, efforts are underway to identify members and launch the forum before the end of 2013.

For further information, visit the websites of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families: and

FavelaNews one of the 5 most innovative initiatives in urban slums 23-07-2013

A neighborhood-level project so awesome that you think it should happen everywhere?

The Global Neighborhood Challenge - a Pop-Up Fellowship with GOOD’s Global Citizenship Project - was looking for five community innovators from around the globe with creative and scalable projects that strengthen the social fabric of their communities.

FavelaNews, a project initiated by Kurt Shaw and supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, has been announced as one of the five winners. FavelaNews is a news channel (radio, TV and Twitter) produced by young people from the urban slums of Recife, Brazil, intended to promote a better image of the live in and the dwellers of the favelas. It complements an effort by the city to reduce violence.

More information on FavelaNews? Visit their website.

A new logo against child abuse 17-07-2013

On Friday the 28th of June the winning logo against child abuse was announced. The two designers, Lisanne van Es and Tugce Kamali (11 years) from group 7a of Primary School ‘De Wierde’ in Almelo, the Netherlands, had a surprise pick-up at their home with a pink limousine and were driven to the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport, Martin van Rijn, who officially launched the new logo against child abuse. The winning logo will be used for a national poster campaign on all primary schools in the Netherlands. Next to that the government will also use the logo in their new campaign in November.

Here you can view a compilation of the ceremony and the fun day:


The logo competion is an initiative from Het Klokhuis and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Learning begins early: Webinar video online 16-07-2013

The webinar held on 1 July is now available to view online. It features presentations and Q&A with three authors of articles in our most recent edition of Early Childhood Matters, on the theme of Learning Begins Early. You can also download the presentations.

New Early Childhood Matters is now online! 15-07-2013

The latest issue of Early Childhood Matters is now available online! This issue - named Learning begins early (June 2013) - focuses on learning from birth to 3 years old. Why? The importance of preschool is increasingly widely acknowledged all over the world. Yet by the time most kids start preschool, aged around 3, the most important building blocks for learning have already been put in place.

Articles examine how children learn in their first three years and survey what we know about current policies and interventions to promote learning in this age group. There are country contributions focusing on Brazil, Colombia and India among others, and articles addressing the role of fatherhood, potential uses of mobile technology in early learning, a Vygotskian perspective on the issue, and the WHO intervention "Care for Child Development".

Read, discuss and share individual articles on Early Childhood Matters online.

The winning logo against child abuse 02-07-2013

The winning logo of the ‘Klokhuis against child abuse’ logo competition has been chosen!

On Friday June 28th the winner of the logo competition was announced. Or actually winners, while the logo was designed by two girls named Lisanne van Es and Tugce Kamali (11 years) from group 7a of Primary School ‘De Wierde’ in Almelo, the Netherlands.

The winning logo will be used for a national poster campaign on all primary schools in the Netherlands. Next to that the government will also use the logo in their new campaign.

The logo competion is an initiative from Het Klokhuis and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

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