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

Defending Children's Rights Means Defending Their Mothers, Too 14-11-2012

Marking the occasion of Child Rights Day in India, the Bernard van Leer Foundation's programme director Michael Feigelson and Mallika Dutt, the founder and CEO of Breakthrough, co-wrote the following article published on The Huffington Post:

The Bernard Van Leer Foundation is partnering with Breakthrough to take the Bell Bajao campaign global. The campaign ('Bell Bajao' is Hindi for 'ring the bell') urges people to take a stand against physical abuse through simple acts, and is credited with helping to interrupt and prevent tens of thousands of violent acts against women and their children in India.

Early Childhood Matters on community violence 14-11-2012

ECM 119 coverThe latest edition of Early Childhood Matters, Community violence and young children: making space for hope, looks at the effects on young children of growing up in a violent community, and explores interventions from around the world which are offering practical solutions. As always, you can download the pdf, read online at, or request a hard copy free of charge.

Individual articles from this and previous editions of ECM can now be read, discussed and shared on our dedicated new ECM website.

Early Childhood Matters is now online! 08-11-2012

The website has been set up to host individual articles from print editions of Early Childhood Matters in a way that makes them easier to share using social media and aggregator websites, and thereby reach new and broader audiences. If you have particularly enjoyed an article in this edition of Early Childhood Matters, we invite you to visit and share it with your online networks.

Cinekid media festival for young children 22-10-2012

This week the largest (new) media festival for young children is taking place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: CINEKID!

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is a main sponsor of the festival. We are interested what role (new) media plays in early learning, now and in the future. Together with Cinekid and THNK, the Amsterdam School for Creative Leadership, we are hosting an international expert meeting on the future of early learning.


One of the highlights of the festival is the Media Lab. It includes a wide variety of  interactive installations that allow young children to bring their own drawings to life  ( or make their own video controls form Play-Doh or play piano on Bananas


If you are in the Netherlands we highly recommend a visit to Cinekid:



Parental involvement in early learning 10-10-2012

Involving parentsTo coincide with the Think Parents! European Conference on Parenting Support, which takes place in The Hague from 10-12 October, a new report on parental involvement in early learning is published today.

Commissioned by BvLF and written by Margaret Kernan of International Child Development Initiatives, the report reviews research, policy and good practice in parental involvement in early learning of children aged 0 to 6 years.

You can download the full report or a summary leaflet.

Prijsvraag CINEKID 09-10-2012

Prijsvraag CINEKID

Jonge kinderen houden van media: Apps, games, TV, fims….

Maar wat leren ze ervan?


Deel de ervaring van jullie gezin en win dagkaarten voor het CINEKID festival.

Reageer voor 14 oktober op onze facebook pagina of door een email te sturen naar



Working paper on Young Lives research in Ethiopia 05-10-2012

Now available to download or order your free printed copy is a new BvLF working paper, Delivering quality early learning in low-resource settings: Progress and challenges in Ethiopia, part of a series detailing ongoing longitudinal research by the Young Lives project.

Designing for Impact Take II 05-10-2012

Lisa Jordan, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 5 October 2012

I sometimes feel you can learn the most about the world by talking to cab drivers. At least they seem to be the ones on my travels that cut to the core of issues. On my last trip a cab driver said to me, 'I should not be driving a cab in New York City.' He is right. He is from the Niger Delta in Nigeria. And he drives a cab because at home in the Delta there is nothing but gas flares, polluted water and war, fuelled by oil deposits. Basically, no future for him or his children. He blames his government, but oil is poison no matter where it is found. I suspect if he went to Louisiana he would find it just like home. Read more

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