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

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:

Clinton Global Initiative 24-09-2012


Today the program of the Bernard van Leer Foundation to ensure safe and healthy cities for young children in India is being recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

We have committed to develop child friendly, safe, and healthy neighborhoods in four mid-sized Indian cities that have been targeted by the federal government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). With one in eight urban-dwelling Indian children under age six living in a slum and over seven million young children living in urban poverty in India, it is more important than ever to identify solutions that allow young urban poor children in India to grow up safe and healthy, in a better physical environment.


By partnering with the public sector and local NGOs, the Bernard van Leer Foundation is raising awareness of the needs ofyoung urban children and building a model of health urban development that can be employed across India.

Back to school – back to business at the Foundation 18-09-2012

Lisa Jordan, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 18 September 2012

After the summer lull, there is always a flurry of September activity. This year is no different, as we welcome exciting developments from around the world.

Starting here at home in The Netherlands, our local partner Sportbank held a sports day to mark the opening of the parliament on the Binnenhof, the government square in front of the Hall of Knights. Football players and Olympic champions left the politicians who participated in no doubt about how critical sport is to young children’s development. Read more

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