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

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.

Early Life features in Time Out 28-08-2009

Time Out Bangalore features an interview with Steve Bradshaw about Early Life, the foundation-supported three-part TV series on early childhood.

Alternatives to the market model in early childhood education and care 27-08-2009

A joint publication with Bertelsmann Stiftung, the latest in the foundation's Working Papers series - There are alternatives! Markets and democratic experimentalism in early childhood education and care - challenges the hegemony of the market model in early childhood education and care, discussing "democratic experimentalism" as an alternative.

Foundation seeks new Communications Director 18-08-2009

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is recruiting for a Communications Director (pdf), who will be the first hire in a new executive team. The closing date for applications has been extended to 10 September.

ISS receives foundation's literature donation 12-08-2009

The Bernard van Leer Foundation has donated 2500 titles on early childhood development and child rights to the library of the International Institute of Social Studies, in The Hague. Read more on the ISS's website, including details of how to access these resources.

BBC World series on early childhood 04-08-2009

TVE's three-part series Early Life, made with foundation support, is currently showing on BBC World. Part one, shot in Peru, aired on Saturday August 1st; part two, filmed in the Nairobi slum of Kibera, will show on Saturday August 8th; and part three, following children in Thailand, on Saturday August 15th. Check the BBC World schedules in your region.

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