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

Children and touchscreens: Dutch media interview Michael Levine 03-11-2011

As part of our involvement with the Cinekid film festival, BvLF invited Michael Levine of Sesame Workshop (the organisation behind the TV show Sesame Street) to The Netherlands to talk on the subject of whether interactive touchscreen technology such as smartphones and iPads can aid children's development. The Dutch newspaper De Pers published an interview with Michael Levine on October 20th; BvLF has translated it into English.

Amsterdam lecture on Jewish Philanthropy and Jewish Identity 31-10-2011

Professor Dr. Gabriel Motzkin from Jerusalem will lecture on Jewish Philanthropy and Jewish Identity: The Van Leer Family and Israel on Tuesday November 8th at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. Anyone interested in attending is invited to email Admission is €5 including coffee. Doors open at 19.30 and the program will start at 20.00.


Will wins the Bernard van Leer Foundation Best International Film award 24-10-2011

Last week, the Cinekid film festival awards were presented in Amsterdam; the Bernard van Leer Foundation Best International Film (Audience Award) went to Will, directed by Ellen Perry.

Opening film for Cinekid festival produced by the Bernard van Leer Foundation 18-10-2011

On October 12th our executive director Lisa Jordan was present at the opening of the 25th Cinekid film festival, the international festival for media and young children aged 4 to 12. Princess Maxima and Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands were also present.

The Bernard van Leer Foundation asked Lege Fles productions  to create a short film called Living in Media for the opening ceremony, in which young kids talk about their experience with media. Two elementary schools in the Netherlands, Bos & Vaart in Haarlem and the Mgr. Bekkerschool in Amsterdam, participated in the video, which you can watch below.



UBS Optimus Foundation invites proposals on linking education and health 10-10-2011

We are pleased to pass on a call for proposals from the UBS Optimus Foundation for proposals on projects that link the education and health sectors to improve outcomes for young children. See details of the call in this pdf and visit the foundation's website for further information on how to apply.

Improving the quality of child care in The Netherlands 03-10-2011

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 3 October 2011

Back to school time is one of the most stressful times for parents. Organising care for children can be challenging and in a place like the Netherlands it is more challenging than it should be. In The Hague, where I live, only two child care centres are linked with my children’s school and can pick them up for after-school care. Despite having hiked their fees, both have long waiting lists. That is not surprising. Parents who work full time cannot realistically run from the office to pick up their children at 3:00 every day so we will take what we can get. The situation for working parents with younger children looking for affordable quality childcare is comparable. It’s a challenge even if you have the income to pay costs that are on the rise due to a recent change in legislation by the Dutch government. Read more

New research in The Lancet makes case for ECD investment 23-09-2011

New research supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and published in The Lancet reveals that increasing investment in early childhood development programmes is a highly cost-effective strategy that could provide considerable returns, with the potential to promote long-term growth and significantly reduce inequalities in low and middle income countries.

BvLF is also supporting an event to discuss the research, to be hosted by the World Bank on Monday 26th September from 12.30 to 14.00 EST. Further details of the event are on the Bank's website here, and the discussion will be webcasted here. To read the text of The Lancet's press release describing the new research, with links to abstracts, click here.

"Growing SMEs" conference in Bogotá 19-09-2011

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is pleased to be supporting an upcoming conference on Growing SMEs Latin America, to be held in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 22-23. This conference aims to activate local resources to contribute to strengthening SMEs in emerging markets in ways that are both profitable and socially and environmentally sustainable. Organisers are the BiD Network, the School of Management of the Universidad de los Andes, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, New Ventures, and Creame.


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