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

The Business of Play 25-04-2013

At the World Economic Forum conference in Lima, a group of Peruvian kids and their adult allies will make a case for why a childhood free from violence and filled with playful learning is the key to the kind of innovation that can drive economic prosperity in this century.

Read the full blog post on Huffpost.

Building a Legal Framework for Public Policies on Early Childhood 23-04-2013

Speech given by Lisa Jordan – Executive Director Bernard van Leer Foundation – on April 16th 2013 in Brazil at the opening of The First International Seminar of the Parliamentary Front for Early Childhood on Building a Legal Framework for Public Policies on Early Childhood.

Read the entire speech we have posted on our blog.

Why quality Early Childhood Services for all? 15-04-2013

Watch this video to see the results of the first Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years (held in January 2013 in Ghent), supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The next Forum will be held in New York City, from July 10th – 12th, 2013.

Press Release - Drastic Cuts to Basic Education Put Children around the World at Risk 15-04-2013

U.S. Administration Proposes Deep Cuts to Basic Education

In response to the President's proposed deep cuts to global basic education in his recent FY14 budget request, share this press release and support the Basic Education Coalition's advocacy efforts to ensure sufficient U.S. resources for vital basic education programs.

Please contact Ariel Gleicher, Acting Director of Government Relations, at, or 202-742-1211. Thanks for your support!

Board of Trustees member wins Compass Prize 10-04-2013

Dr Rien van Gendt, member of the Board of Trustees of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, is the proud winner of the Compass Prize. Only awarded in exceptional circumstances to the true pioneers and visionaries of European philanthropy, the Compass Prize is awarded by the EFC Management Committee and recognises outstanding contributions to the European foundation sector. The prize will be awarded during the Closing Plenary of the 2013 AGA and Conference in Copenhagen.

Bernard van Leer Foundation - Annual Report 2012 06-04-2013

Annual Report 2012 cover

BvLF's annual report for 2012 is now available to download or request in printed form. It reports on national and international activities in support of our three goals: taking quality early learning to scale, reducing violence in young children's lives, and improving young children's living conditions. It features contributions by the chair of the board of trustees, Peter Bell, and the executive director, Lisa Jordan. There is an executive summary in Spanish.

BvLF seeks research and evaluation specialist 02-04-2013

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is looking to appoint a specialist in research and evaluation, based in The Hague, on an initial 12-month contract with the possibility of renewal. The deadline for applications is April 28. For further details, including how to apply, please see the terms of reference.

BvLF also continues to seek a programme officer for Tanzania and Uganda, based either in The Hague or in the region. Details are here and the deadline for applications is April 30.

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:

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