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
'Hundreds of millions of children under the age of five worldwide are not reaching their full potential in cognitive development due to factors such as poverty, poor health, malnutrition and lack of care. While policymakers, academics and civil society organisations in the area of health and education are engaging with this issue, Michael Feigelson, Executive Director of the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, has argued that there seems to be a lack of ownership of this issue by global business leaders.'
Read the complete article by Daniel Schweppenstedde and Olga van Zijverden on the RAND blog.
On Mothersday an article was published on the website of the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, stating that the best Mothersday gift is not a new kitchen device, but actually low-cost, accessible and quality daycare services and kindergartens. The article argues that in order to increase women’s workforce participation (currently 27% in Turkey) the best option is to provide affordable, accessible and quality daycare services, which is also mentioned by employed women as their primary need. Based on Bernard van Leer Foundation funded research the article provides the ratios on access to preschool services, as low as 34%. Additionally the article provides examples from the Quebec region in Canada, that show how investments in low-cost and accessible childcare increased women’s workforce participation there (more than in the rest of the country). The complete article (in Turkish) can be read here.
We hope that all mothers had a great Mothersday! To celebrate all mothers in the world, watch this second trailer of the documentary '1000 Days'.
Have you ever thought about how the first thousand days of your child's life influence the rest of his/her life? Have you ever thought about the impact of health, food and family in this first period of life? The importance of these first 1,000 days are highlighted in the documentary ‘1000 Days’ made by Maria Farinha Filmes, with the support of Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation (FMCSV), the ALANA Foundation and the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The full documentary will be released in 2016.
We are currently seeking an exceptional individual to take on the role of Programme Director. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Programme Director’s main responsibilities will be to: lead and manage a global team whose work currently spans eight countries and involvement in a variety of international partnerships, act as one of the Foundation’s principal advocates, responsible for brokering and leading a set of strategic partnerships that help leverage Foundation knowledge for impact on young children around the world. More information about the vacancy can be found here.
The Israeli government has asked BvLF partner AJEEC-NISPED to roll out its Al-Sanabel school catering business nationwide in 2015. It continues the remarkable success story of a social enterprise that the Foundation has helped to fund.
Read the new blog on Bedouin women and children in Israel on our corporate blog website.
This is one of the videos of the series ‘Toca la Puerta’ (Knock on the Door) created by children of Iquitos, Peru, and their parents, with support from our partner INFANT. They produce videos similar to those of India’s ‘Ring the Bell’ to encourage people to interrupt violence in neighboring households. In this example, children give away sugar to a dad who is mistreating his son. They want the dad to be sweeter. The most interesting aspect of the initiative is that many of the parents that play the role of abusers, used to punish their children themselves. After this experience, they commented about how wrong they were. More information about ‘Toca la Puerta’ can be found on the website of INFANT.
The International Consultation, convened in Leiden (the Netherlands) in September 2014, brought together early childhood experts and stakeholders - supported by ISSA, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, in partnership with the World Bank and the Brookings Institution - representing different regions of the world, who have experience in the measurement and improvement of quality of early years services. The meeting aimed to identify points of consensus in measuring quality and future directions for increasing the strength, innovation and cultural applicability of quality measurement. A report on the International Consultation can be downloaded here.
In 2014, the Bernard van Leer Foundation and FORUM supported the Verwey-Jonker Institute to carry out qualitative research among 40 hard-to-reach families, to provide insight into the reasons why some families do not send their toddlers to VVE (early learning services) in the Netherlands, and to suggest steps that need to be taken. Among the reasons given by mothers interviewed are that they do not know what different services can offer, they do not feel the need to use these services as they are not working, and they believe young children are better off spending time with their mothers than at a facility. The research (in Dutch) can be downloaded here.