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

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).

Foundation features in Financieel Dagblad 14-04-2009

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is today featured in the Financieel Dagblad. The article (in Dutch) deals with the challenges being faced by private foundations because of the ongoing financial crisis.

Archbishop Tutu to mark TREE anniversary 09-04-2009

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will be guest of honour at foundation partner TREE’s celebration of 25 years of working in early childhood development in South Africa. The celebration is part of a practical symposium on “Mitigating the Impact of HIV and AIDS on Young Children”, from 3-5 August 2009.

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