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

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.

Promoting mutual respect and dignity in schools 27-07-2009

How can cultures of violence in elementary schools be tackled by shifting school values towards mutual respect and dignity, rather than authoritarian approaches? Maintaining a respectful climate for young children in schools: no trumpet solo – let the orchestra play! looks at a foundation-funded programme implemented in Israel by Person to Person: Association for the Advancement of Human Dignity.

Jewish-Arab schools in Israel: parents’ perspectives and children’s realities 20-07-2009

Jewish-Arab schools in Israel: parents’ perspectives and children’s realities is the latest in the foundation's range of Online Outreach Papers. The 18-page paper presents the perceptions and experiences of parents and research by University in Jerusalem anthropologist Zvi Bekerman on the Hand in Hand Centre for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel.

Respect for diversity in France 09-07-2009

Our partner Ecole Santé Social Sud-Est has released an English translation of a report into the practice and policy of child care and education in France, including guidelines for training, in the context of respect for diversity and the distinctively French concept of laïcité. The 95-page document by Myriam Mony, with a foreword by Michel Vandenbroeck, is available to download in pdf format.

Photo book on child labour 07-07-2009

A World for Children is a photo-book by Dutch photojournalist Peter de Ruiter, to which the Bernard van Leer Foundation contributed support, which aims to raise awareness of the issue of child labour. The book was presented in Brussels, Geneva and New York to mark the recent World Day Against Child Labour, and is available for purchase in the Netherlands and USA.

Jim Smale, former ECM editor, dies aged 68 24-06-2009

Jim Smale, who edited the foundation's flagship journal Early Childhood Matters for many years, has died aged 68. Jim was largely responsible for giving the publication its current format. The next edition of ECM will be published soon.

Early Childhood Matters on family stress 24-06-2009

The new edition of Early Childhood Matters, Family stress: Safeguarding young children's care environment, asks how to deal with and diminish family stress and what factors contribute to children’s resilience and coping mechanisms. It includes an conceptual overview by Ted Wachs, an interview with Professor James Heckman, and insights from countries including Mexico, South Africa and Bulgaria.

Annual Report for 2008 16-05-2009

The foundation's latest Annual Report is now available for download (pdf), reviewing our activities in 2008. It includes an in-depth look at activities in Mexico, India and South Africa, and an executive summary in Spanish.

CHETNA: My Rights, My Responsibilities 10-05-2009

We are pleased to make available a valuable new resource from our Indian partner CHETNA, a manual entitled My Rights, My Responsibilities: Learning To Teach Child Rights, which is aimed at facilitators of training sessions with teachers and NGO personnel. As the pdf is large, we have split it into modules for ease of downloading. Read more.

Foundation names new Executive Director 29-04-2009

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is pleased to announce Ms. Lisa Jordan as the new Executive Director as of 13 July 2009. Read more (pdf).

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