The Bernard van Leer Foundation is an international grantmaking foundation based in The Hague.

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 promoting more cohesive, considerate and creative societies with equal opportunities and rights for all.

Latest news from the Bernard van Leer Foundation

Clinton Global Initiative 24-09-2012


Today the program of the Bernard van Leer Foundation to ensure safe and healthy cities for young children in India is being recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

We have committed to develop child friendly, safe, and healthy neighborhoods in four mid-sized Indian cities that have been targeted by the federal government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). With one in eight urban-dwelling Indian children under age six living in a slum and over seven million young children living in urban poverty in India, it is more important than ever to identify solutions that allow young urban poor children in India to grow up safe and healthy, in a better physical environment.


By partnering with the public sector and local NGOs, the Bernard van Leer Foundation is raising awareness of the needs ofyoung urban children and building a model of health urban development that can be employed across India.

Back to school – back to business at the Foundation 18-09-2012

Lisa Jordan, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 18 September 2012

After the summer lull, there is always a flurry of September activity. This year is no different, as we welcome exciting developments from around the world.

Starting here at home in The Netherlands, our local partner Sportbank held a sports day to mark the opening of the parliament on the Binnenhof, the government square in front of the Hall of Knights. Football players and Olympic champions left the politicians who participated in no doubt about how critical sport is to young children’s development. Read more

Think Parents! European conference on parenting support 18-09-2012

BvLF is supporting a European conference on parenting support in Amsterdam on October 10-12. Think Parents! will feature round tables on policy, research and practice, renowned keynote speakers, field visits, workshops and presentations, and is organised in partnership with the Netherlands Youth Institute, the University of Amsterdam, the Council of Europe, Eurochild and other organisations. See the pdf for further details, including how to register.

Kinder troonrede 18-09-2012

Kindermishandeling speelt zich af in het verborgene, er wordt er in de zorg nog weinig met mishandelde kinderen zelf gepraat. Op initiatief van Bernard van Leer Foundation en Augeo Foundation klinkt de stem van deze kinderen in de Kindertroonrede (zie bijlage). Deze Kindertroonrede wordt op Prinsjesdag 18 September op naar alle Kamerleden gestuurd die jeugdzorg in hun portefeuille hebben. De inhoud van de Kindertroonrede is gebaseerd op de spaarzame onderzoeken waarin mishandelde kinderen naar hun mening is gevraagd, zoals de


De Bernard van Leer Foundation en Augeo Foundation maken zich sterk om kindermishandeling uit het leven van kinderen te bannen en willen een doorbraak bereiken op gebeid van preventie en aanpak van kindermishandeling.


Meer troonredes over kindermishandeling en huiselijk geweld lees je in het online vakblad voor mensen die met kinderen en ouders werken Tijdschrift Kindermishandeling


Early Childhood in Focus on Healthy Environments 13-09-2012

ECIF 8 coverThe 8th publication in the Early Childhood In Focus series, published by BvLF and the UK's Open University, looks at the topic of Healthy Environments. It includes discussions of the challenges and opportunities bringing up children in urban areas, and the design of "child-friendly spaces". Early Childhood In Focus offers advocates a clear and accessible summary of the current state of knowledge and research. Download the pdf, read on or order a free printed copy today.

Daycare and Dutch elections 06-09-2012

Lisa Jordan, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 6 September 2012

It's election time in the Netherlands. On September 12th the Dutch will cast their votes with the euro crisis at the top of their minds. However daycare has also surfaced as one of the main topics in the political debates. All parties, in part through talks with my team, have expressed their desire to reverse the budget cuts planned for 2013 which would make quality daycare a luxury even fewer parents can afford. While we welcome the change of heart, reversing budget cuts is not enough. It is only the first step in a complete overhaul of the child care system that is necessary to allow all young children in the Netherlands to develop to their full potential. Read more

Boost for mother tongue based education in Odisha 05-09-2012

Dilip Tirkey, hockey star and member of India's upper house of parliament, has today voiced his support for preschool and primary education being delivered in tribal languages in tribal areas of the state of Odisha (see coverage in The Times of India).

This follows a major step forward last month when the Odisha government issued a directive in support of the policy, as advocated by the state-level tribal organisation Odisha Adivashi Mancha. Tribal children face difficulty in adjusting to school when instruction is not in the langauge they speak at home, making it harder for them to get an education.

Through its local partner NGO PREM, the Bernard van Leer Foundation has been a long time supporter of this campaign and has demonstrated the efficacy of mother tongue-based early education by funding 900 centres in the state, reaching nearly 15,000 tribal childrem. The focus now shifts to ensuring the state government directive is fully implemented, and pressing for a national law enshrining all Indian children's right to an education in their mother tongue.

"International Expert Consultation on Prevention of and Response to Violence against Young Children” 23-08-2012

On 27 and 28 August an international meeting on violence against children was held in Lima with the title "Expert Consultation on Prevention and Response to Violence Against Girls and Young Children", organized by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, SRSG On Violence Against Children in the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Women and Vulnerable Populations in Peru, the Global Movement for Children of Latin America and the Caribbean and Salgalú. The meeting, attended by experts from countries including the US, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, has been looking at how to respond to and prevent violence against young children

Job vacancy - BvLF seeks Communications Administrator 06-08-2012

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is recruiting an administrator to assist our communications department with tasks including event logistics and social media outreach. Applicants must be fluent in Dutch and English. The deadline for applications is August 20th. For more details, including how to apply, download the pdf.

New research report tracks lifelong impact of violence on boys 02-08-2012

Cover Bridges to Adulthood

When young boys witness domestic violence, how does it impact them? New research sponsored by BvLF shows that the effects are profound and long lasting. Those boys are more likely to grow into men who have problems with self-esteem and depression, who beat their own partners and children, and who are violent in their communities.

For more, download the report pdf - Bridges to Adulthood Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence. The research is based on data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in six countries (Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico, and Rwanda) and published by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW).

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