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

Early Childhood in Focus on The Right to Play 09-10-2013

Early Childhood in Focus 9 cover imageThe latest issue of Early Childhood in Focus is published to coincide with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's General Comment No. 17, which aims to strengthen implementation of children's right to rest, leisure, play and recreational activities (as set out in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).

The Right to Play explores issues such as the ways culture defines play in children's lives, the role of play within early childhood pedagogy, the function of play in supporting children's development, the pressures of early schooling and child work, and the implications of commercialisation and new technologies.

Published in collaboration with the Open University, Early Childhood in Focus accessibly reviews the best and most recent research, information and analysis on key policy issues, offering clear messages for advocates. Order a free printed copy, download the pdf or read online at

5 Reasons why Businesses are Investing in Young Children 01-10-2013

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 1 October 2013

While attending ReadyNation’s 2013 National Business Leader Summit in Atlanta, at which senior business people voiced their support for more investment in the young children of the United States, I realised that there are essentially five reasons I hear from business leaders to explain why they have decided to invest in young children. Read more...

Stem op Het Klokhuis over kindermishandeling! 27-09-2013

Goed nieuws: Het Klokhuis over kindermishandeling is genomineerd voor een Cinekid Kinderkastprijs in de categorie non-fictie: dé prijs voor het beste Nederlandstalige televisieprogramma voor de jeugd. Gaat Het Klokhuis deze prijs daadwerkelijk in de wacht slepen? Dat bepaal jij! Breng nu je stem op: Je kunt stemmen tot en met woensdag 23 oktober 2013!

Kindermishandeling: je kunt er wat aan doen!

Kies nu voor Kinderen on Dutch radio 16-09-2013

Improving the quality and access to early learning for all children in the Netherlands provides the community a benefit of € 5 million per year. Extending paid parental leave to three months is included in these figures. This emerges from a social cost-benefit analysis of the program 'Kies nu voor Kinderen’ (‘Now choose for Children') by SEO Economic Research.

For more information on the program, listen to this radio clip from BNR Nieuwsradio (in Dutch).

The winners of the 2013 Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant 10-09-2013

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) announces winners of the 2013 Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant for Global Early Child Development

The Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant provides support for students interested in a career in global early child development who are from or doing research in low- or middle-income countries. The Grant includes US $5,000 to support dissertation research and a 2-year student membership to SRCD. The grant was created in honor and memory of Patrice L. Engle, Ph.D. (1944-2012), a pioneer and leader in global early child development.

The 2013 winners are Eva Diniz Bensaja dei Schirò for research in Brazil and Nardos Tesfay for research in Ethiopia. Congratulations to both!

SRCD is now accepting applications for next year’s awards. Applications are due April 30, 2014. See for information and application procedures.

Bernard van Leer Foundation at conference in Panama 28-08-2013

Bernard van Leer Foundation’s Programme Director Michael Feigelson spoke at a conference in Panama on Thursday August 22nd on the subject: 'From evidence to action: policy options for preventing violence in early childhood'. Read the highlights of his talk here (in Spanish):

Vacancy: Professor by special appointment in Child Development - Universiteit van Amsterdam 27-08-2013

The University of Amsterdam intends to recruit a candidate for the position of: Professor by special appointment in Child Development, in particular the role and developmental significance of fatherhood.

One of the main tasks of the professor by special appointment will be to conduct academic research focusing on the unique contribution to parenting that fathers make in the social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural development of children and adolescents.

The five-year appointment (0.2 FTE) will be with the Father Knowledge Centre (Vader Kennis Centrum). It will be based in the Child Development and Education department (programme group Childhood education and Family Support) of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

This special appointment is made possible with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The deadline for applications is September 13th 2013. For more information, please click here.

End violence against children: "With Tenderness we Win" 14-08-2013

On Sunday August 11th over ten thousand people gathered in Lima, Peru to show their support to end violence against children and the campaign 'A Hug for Children'.

Watch the video from our partners INFANT of the declaration "With Tenderness we Win":

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