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's Ombudsman advances BvLF-backed proposals to Dutch Parliament 23-11-2011

The Children's Ombudsman in The Netherlands today officially submitted a letter to the Dutch parliament pointing to statistics which show that child abuse in the Netherlands is a serious and persistent problem, and making proposals for which the Bernard van Leer Foundation and other civil society actors have been pressing. These include the formation of multidisciplinary teams of researchers and greater attention to the accumulation of risk factors which generally cause child abuse, such as poverty, unemployment and parents' mental health.

Early learning: Lessons from scaling up 04-11-2011

The latest edition of Early Childhood Matters, Early learning: Lessons from scaling up, is available for download (printed copies can be pre-ordered and will be despatched when available.) It looks at the question of how to scale up early learning provision without sacrificing quality.

Articles consider lessons that can be learned from national-level experiences in South Africa, Kenya, the US, the UK, Macedonia, Cuba, Chile and Peru, as well as examining lessons at an organisational level with input from Reggio Emilia in the US, India's SEWA, the Caribbean's FDCC, ISSA in Central/Eastern Europe, and the OECD.

Further articles discuss what "quality" means in the context of early education services, outline the World Bank's new SABER-ECD tool to collect evidence on what works, and ask how interactive technology can help to scale up early learning.

Obama administration reaffirms support for early education 03-11-2011

The US secretaries of health and education wrote to the New York Times on October 30th to reaffirm the Obama administration's commitment to early childhood education, in response to criticism in an op-ed by Nicholas D Kristof on 20th October.

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.

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