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

Policy Round Table on Early Childhood Education and Care 27-11-2012

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is supporting the Policy Round Table discussion on Early Childhood Education today and tomorrow in Leiden, The Netherlands.

is organizing the Policy Round Table on ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) aiming to promote an European framework for quality in ECEC. It will bring together Eurochild members and national policy experts to discuss follow-up to the European Commission Communication and Council Conclusions on “Early childhood education and care: providing all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow”.

Introducing the Encyclopaedia on Early Childhood Development 27-11-2012

The latest edition of Early Childhood Matters contains content developed in collaboration with the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, an initiative of the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development and the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Childhood Development. BvLF has contributed to development of the encyclopaedia's articles on societal violence in relation to early childhood.

Intended for policy-makers, service planners and providers, and parents, the online encyclopaedia is available to browse, free of charge, in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Finding Josephine - Why Poverty? 22-11-2012

UGANDA: Who really benefits?

A family has been supporting a child in Uganda via a charity for three years. The father and small daughter travel from UK to Uganda to see if charity makes any difference: to them or to the child they are supporting.

Why Poverty? is a ground breaking, cross-media event, online and on TV, using films to get people to talk about poverty.

BvLF is one of the supporters of this event reaching more than 500 million people around the world via television, radio, internet and live events in November 2012. Launching during one intense week, people around the world will be asking the question WHY POVERTY?

Children and Violence Evaluation Challenge Fund - Call For Proposals 20-11-2012

The Children and Violence Evaluation Challenge Fund announces its 2nd call for proposals to support rigorous evaluations of interventions aimed at preventing all forms of violence against children in low- and middle-income countries.

Non-profit organizations/NGOs, universities/research institutes and, exceptionally, for-profit organizations can apply as main applicants. The deadline is 17 December.

Partly funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Children and Violence Evaluation Challenge Fund allocated of € 759,000 to 9 evaluation projects, selected from 479 concept notes received, after the first call for proposals in August 2011.

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:



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