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

Dutch TV-programme: Het Klokhuis on child abuse 29-03-2013

In the Netherlands, campaigns against child abuse tend to talk only to adults, not children. When the subject is addressed on television, it is usually after the 8pm watershed which marks content suitable only for the over-12s. This reflects a widespread belief that child abuse is simply too sensitive or difficult an issue to discuss with children.

Het Klokhuis - an educational programme for children aged 8-12 years, produced by NTR - wants to change this. In cooperation with the Bernard van Leer Foundation, it has created four programmes on child abuse which are aimed especially at children. They will run every Tuesday in April, starting April 2nd, in the programme's usual early evening slot.

In these programmes, unprecedented in The Netherlands, Het Klokhuis presenter Dolores Leeuwin asks: Why do some parents abuse their children? Why do witnesses and victims often remain silent? What can you do about it? Children and parents openly tell their own stories about abuse, and viewers can go online to ask questions and find more information:

New study shows that preschool can deliver quality at scale 28-03-2013

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 28 March 2013

Today the journal of Child Development releases a new study on public preschool in the United States. Christina Weiland and Hirokazu Yoshikawa are the latest in a powerful scientific line-up to help make the investment case for young children.

What makes this study different from other studies that demonstrate the impact of preschool on children’s capacity to learn is that Christina and Hiro examined a scaled programme. As they note, “how to maintain impacts at scale is an open question in the field.”

This tricky question has bedevilled programmes across the world. Read more

Job vacancy - BvLF seeks Programme Officer for Tanzania and Uganda 27-03-2013

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is recruiting a Programme Officer for East Africa to carry out programming in Tanzania and Uganda. The Programme Officer would be expected to play a leadership role in a consortium of private donor agencies to influence flows of investment for children. These could include developing social impact investment opportunities in partnership with private sector companies. For more details, including how to apply, download the job description.

Tracking BvLF's accomplishments 06-02-2013

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 6 February 2013

Since we completed our programme strategies in 2010/2011 the issue of tracking our impact has been at the top of our minds at the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The program team has developed key impact indicators from over 80 baseline research studies. These key impact indicators will allow us to track our progress over the next few years. In conjunction with Bertelsmann Foundation, the European Foundation Center and others BvLF is designing a new capacity building workshop for the European foundation sector on moving from good to great philanthropic practice. The Good to Great workshop will take place in June in Copenhagen at the European Foundation Center’s General Assembly meeting. The communications team is producing our annual report for 2012, the first since we adopted our new goals in which we can report preliminary results on creating greater opportunities for learning and growing in healthy and safe spaces. Read more

Patrice L Engle Dissertation Award For Global Early Child Development 05-02-2013

As a legacy to Pat Engle, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, along with her friends and colleagues, have established the Patrice L Engle Dissertation Award For Global Early Child Development to provide opportunities for junior scholars from or working in developing countries to conduct dissertation research in global early child development. The award includes US$5000 to support dissertation research and a 2-year student membership to the Society for Research in Child Development.

For more information about the award see or request information from

Women Inc talkshow ‘ Who will take care of the children’ 31-01-2013

The Bernard van Leer Foundation will be present at the Women Inc festival in Amsterdam on Sunday February 17th during the talk show 'Who will take care of the children? ' (WIE ZORGT ER VOOR DE KINDEREN?)

Global Leaders in Davos Commit to Helping Prevent Violence in Young Children’s Lives 31-01-2013

DAVOS, Switzerland – Saturday, 26 January 2013 –– At an event organized by The Bernard van Leer Foundation, twenty global leaders including Geraldine Chin Moody, board member of UN Women Australia, Vidar Jorgensen, president of Grameen America, and Princess Mabel van Oranje, founding CEO of The Elders, gathered to demonstrate their resolve to end violence in the lives of young children. 


First meeting Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years in Ghent 21-01-2013

The first meeting of the Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years will take place from 21-23 January 2013 in Ghent, Belgium. This invite only event is about Quality Early Childhood Services for All: Addressing Disparities in Access for Children from Migrant and Low-Income Families.

The Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years is an initiative of the King Baudouin Foundation together with nine different partner foundations from both Europe and the United States - amongst them the Bernard van Leer Foundation, de LEGO Foundation and the Migration Policy Institute - bringing together leading scientists, practitioners, civil society members, business leaders and political decision-makers.

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