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
Twelve researchers on peer relations between young children are currently meeting in Portugal under the auspices of the foundation's "Community of Reflection and Practice: The Social Lives of Young Children". Readers may be interested in their background thoughts for the meeting and biographical details (pdf).
The Financial Times recently ran aon the work of the Global Fund for Children, whose Under Eight initiative is supported by the foundation.
The latest in our web-only series of Online Outreach Papers is Valuing the learning: An annotated bibliography of the resources and publications of the Bernard van Leer Foundation and its partners in the area of Social Inclusion and Respect for Diversity (2002–2008).
It is increasingly well accepted that early childhood programmes bring benefits - but how to be precise in estimating the costs? In the latest in our web-only series of Online Outreach Papers, Costing early childhood care and development programmes, Robert G. Myers shows how official figures can fail to account for costs incurred by resource-poor parents.
We are pleased to share transcripts (pdf) of the talks at the recent annual conference of foundation partner the Centre for Advancement of Functional Capacities, which implements the Children Friendly Kindergartens project in Israel. The talks present the application of the program in the cities of Haifa, Rishon-LeZion and Netanya.
The foundation-supported Monduli Pastoralist Development Initiatives (MPDI) projectrecently in Tanzania's Daily News. The report discusses the challenges of making formal education accessible and attractive for pastoralist communities.
The Al-Tufula Centre, which works for Palestinian children in Israel, shares in a special issue of its newsletter (pdf) details of its 2008 Children's Festival, which attracted 1800 participants. The theme of the festival was "Traveling around the World", with Al-Tufula staff introducing children aged 3-8 to other countries, cultures and traditions.
Focusing especially on children from immigrant families and those with a low socio-economic status, the foundation's latest working paper - Fostering language acquisition in daycare settings: What does the research tell us? - addresses theories on language development and asks what research tells us about the effect of pre-schoolers’ social environment.
Now available for download (pdf) is the fourth in our web-only series of Online Outreach Papers. The social agenda and early childhood care and education: Can we really help create a better world? looks at the changing economic and cultural context of early childhood and identifies imperatives for policy and leadership.
"An amazing, enchanting world of excitement, creativity, games, sounds, laughter, sports and many more surprises await Jerusalem’s children at the early childhood enrichment center, a place that our children could only dream about until now" - Mercaz Beth Jacob provides this(pdf) of a feature article run by Israeli newspaper Yated Ne'eman describing the Early Childhood Enrichment Centre built with foundation support.
Messages from the Executive Director» Read more...