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

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

Why three is the magic number 03-10-2012

Money spent on early childhood yields higher returns than in any other phase of life. It can also reduce galloping inequality.

The importance of early childhood investment is highlighted by BvLF's programme director in a recent article in Financial Times.

Follow the link to read the full article:

WHY POVERTY? 27-09-2012

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?


The project officially launches today during the UN General Assembly in New York at 6.30 EDT. There will be keynote speeches from the UN Deputy Secretary General, Mr Jan Eliasson, and HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Webcast From the Clinton Global Initiative in NY 24-09-2012

The Early Years: An Irresistible Investment Opportunity Session: 

Starting children on the right path has one of the highest returns of any social investment, with early childhood development programs returning as much as $18 for every dollar invested. High quality early childhood education programs develop the foundation for critical workforce skills that boost economic growth and reduce long-term social costs.

Watch the Webcast:

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