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

Equity and quality in Ethiopia, India and Peru 16-11-2009

Equity and quality? Challenges for early childhood and primary education in Ethiopia, India and Peru is a Working Paper which forms part of the "Studies in Early Transitions" series. It is based on Young Lives, a 15-year longitudinal study of childhood poverty in diverse majority world contexts, and addresses the challenges of achieving equity and quality in early childhood programmes. Order your free printed copy or download the pdf.

DEDI wins Institution of the Year Award 16-11-2009

Congratulations to the foundation's South African partner DEDI, which has been announced as the winner of the Bloemfontein Institution of the Year Competition run by Ons Stad, the Mimosa Group of the Troskie family and Absa Bank. Among the runners-up was Lesedi, another foundation partner.

Lessons learned in Central America 13-11-2009

The latest in our series of Online Outreach Papers, Strengthening the care environment for children in Central America, looks at five organisations in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. As the foundation withdraws from future funding in the region, this is a collective endeavour to capture knowledge and lessons learned in using support, care and education programmes to work among children, families, and communities.

Foundation's anniversary on Dutch radio 12-11-2009

The Bernard van Leer Foundation yesterday celebrated its 60th anniversary with events in The Hague to announce a 100,000 euro initiative for corporate leaders (press release in English/Dutch) and award the inaugural Oscar van Leer Fellowships. These events were followed by a radio discussion (audio in Dutch only) on Radio 1's Casa Luna programme featuring the foundation's executive director, Lisa Jordan, together with Geert-Jan Johannes, author of a new book about the founder's son, Oscar van Leer.


Corporate outreach marks 60th anniversary 05-11-2009

The Bernard van Leer Foundation next week marks its 60th anniversary with an event in The Hague centred on the question of what young children can expect from corporate leaders. This press release (in Dutch) gives further details of a 100,000 euro incentive to Dutch corporations to engage in projects with young children. Those interested in attending the event on November 11th (see invitation), which features a panel discussion with Dutch corporate leaders, are invited to email 60yearsbvlf@bvleerf.nl to check if space is available.

South African partner in media award 03-11-2009

A partner of the foundation in South Africa, the Early Learning Resource Centre, received a special commendation as a finalist in the Mail and Guardian's Investing in the Future awards.

A message from the Executive Director 30-10-2009

Lisa Jordan writes: “There couldn’t be a more challenging time to begin to lead a privately endowed foundation than in the midst of a global financial crisis. But challenges also imply opportunities. Three months after taking over as the Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, I would like to take a moment to share with you what I have learned so far, and how the foundation intends to carry forward its work. Read more

Effective Early Childhood Programmes 30-10-2009

Effective Early Childhood Programmes is the latest in the Early Childhood in Focus series, published in collaboration with the Open University, which provides accessible reviews of research and clear messages on policy issues. It outlines the case for early childhood programmes, summarises the evidence for their effectiveness, and considers the challenges in taking them to scale.

Oscar van Leer Fellowship winners announced 02-10-2009

The Bernard van Leer Foundation has chosen six young journalists from developing countries to be the inaugural recipients of the Oscar van Leer Fellowships. The fellowships aim to increase the quantity and quality of media coverage of issues affecting young children. For further details, please see the press release.

Realising respect for young children 01-09-2009

In a new foundation Working Paper, Too young for respect? Realising respect for young children in their everyday environments: A cross-cultural analysis, Shanti George looks at the routine disrespect shown to young children in everyday life and examines case studies from Germany and Israel to show what respect for young children looks like in practice.

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