The Bernard van Leer Foundation is an international grantmaking foundation based in The Hague.
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 promoting more cohesive, considerate and creative societies with equal opportunities and rights for all.
Latest news from the Bernard van Leer Foundation
The report 'Building the Beta Brain', following the seminar held in June 2013, is now available. This report focuses on the question why the Netherlands should invest in early (Beta) learning. You can download the report here.
Please note that the Bernard van Leer Foundation office will be closed during the Holiday season. We are back in the office again on Thursday January 2nd, 2014.
We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Watch this video to see the results of the second Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years (held in July 2013 in New York), supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The focus of this second meeting was: propose improved workforce-preparation systems by better understanding changes in instructional practice, teacher preparation and curricula that have been successful in engaging children from migrant and low-income families. The next Forum will be held in Lisbon, from January 20th – 22nd, 2014.
Base of the Pyramid (BoP) ventures can play a prominent role in reducing the harmful effects of poverty. With support from theBernard van Leer Foundation, the William Davidson Institute developed six research case studies to assess the role BoP ventures can play in alleviating poverty on children age eight years and younger. These cases include businesses that sell a product to the BoP, businesses that sell a service to the BoP, and businesses that source from the BoP. The ventures analyzed, work across a range of sectors including housing, renewable energy, sanitation, health care, as well as export-based and locally-based agribusinesses. This series includes a summary article, ‘Focusing on the Next Generation: An Exploration of Enterprise Impacts on Child Poverty’, that aggregates findings across the above six ventures.
All six research case studies, a teaching case study and a summary article can be downloaded here.
We are pleased to announce the availability of Dutch translations of Attachment Relationships: Quality of care for young children and Developing Brains, two popular editions of our Early Childhood in Focus series. The links are as follows:
The latest edition of Early Childhood Matters on Children of seasonal migrant workers is now available (download pdf / order a free copy / read online). It focuses on an almost invisible population - people who migrate seasonally in search of work, and their children. Often they live in poor quality temporary accommodation close to the work site, where children are exposed to risks of accidents and illness, and below the radar of local authorities meaning they can't access services such as preschool, school and healthcare.
Articles explore the living conditions of seasonal migrant workers' children, and experiences with programmes designed to improve those conditions. Contributions come from the United States, India, Turkey, Mexico, Nicaragua and Africa.
Apply for the Echidna Global Scholars Program for 2014. The deadline to apply is January 5th 2014. The Echidna Global Scholars Program is a visiting fellowship at the Center for Universal Education that aims to catalyze the work of nonprofit leaders, academics and policymakers from developing countries. Echidna Global Scholars spend four and a half months in Washington from August through mid-December pursuing research on global education issues, with a specific focus on improving learning opportunities and outcomes for girls. Please click here for more information or to apply.
During the ‘Week van Kinderen Veilig’ (Week of Children Safe) in the Netherlands, from 18-22 November, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Municipality of The Hague and Stichting Geheim Geweld (Secret Violence Foundation) organized the symposium "Break the Circle", on the preventive approach to child abuse and the relationship between psycho-social trauma and its effects on physical health of children and adults.
At the same time there was a program organized for children where they learnt about child abuse and healthy food, and they participated it in a Spinning Marathon for charity, for the Secret Violence Foundation.
Watch below video for a news compilation of this successful day (0:26 to 4:50 minutes):
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 14 November 2013
The Dutch are very proud that, according to UNICEF’s research, children here are the happiest in the world. But averages hide extremes. Sadly, in the Netherlands, neglect and abuse are on the rise. The University of Leiden found in 2011 that one in 30 Dutch children suffer abuse.
Privacy is held dear in the Netherlands. Interfering in family life is frowned upon, and violence in children’s lives is almost a taboo discussion. So how could we, as a small foundation, try to prevent violence in children’s lives when an entire society appears unwilling to have the conversation? Read more...