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
The first community playground and educational centre of its kind has opened (pdf) in Hasham Zane, an unrecognised Bedouin village in Israel. Foundation partner NISPED is working to bring more such centres, which combine opportinities for play with childcare training for mothers, to Bedouin communities in the Negev desert.
Asociación Mundial de Educadores Infantiles, a partner of the foundation in Spain, has launched the first part of the(in Spanish) it is developing with foundation support. It will evolve into a comprehensive tool of information and training for early childhood educators.
This weekend sees several countries joining an awareness-raising campaign to march a "Mile for mothers", organised by the Union of Mother Centres in Slovakia. Read more (pdf) about how the campaign evolved from a world-record breaking pram-pushing event, with bulletins from Africa, Europe and the Americas.
South African partner organisation TREE has won the first national Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Development, awarded by ABSA Bank, the Sowetan Newspaper and the South Africa Congress for Early Childhood Development. Read more in TREE's press release (pdf).
Read here (pdf) the text of a speech given by Her Highness Lalla Meryam, sister of the King of Morocco, to the UNESCO director general and goodwill ambassadors in Paris earlier this month. President of Morocco's Observatoire National des Droits de l'Enfant, Her Highness had participated in the Moroccan press launch of UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report in November 2006, which was co-organised by the foundation, UNESCO, UNICEF and our Moroccan partner ATFALE. In the speech, Her Highness supports the suggestion, arising from this event, that 2007 should be seen as the year of Early Childhood Education.
The latest in our series of working papers is now available. "Is everybody ready? Readiness, transition and continuity: Reflections and moving forward" considers ways to tackle early drop-out and under-achievement at school through improving transitions from both home and early childhood programmes, and how schools can improve provision for 6-8 year olds.
The Caribbean Child Support Initiative research project. Read more about the AIID's study (pdf).is conducting a longitudinal impact evaluation of the Roving Caregivers programme funded by the foundation in St Lucia, and elsewhere in the Caribbean, as part of the
Published by thewith financial support from the foundation, the latest in a series of "Building blocks: Africa wide briefing notes" is now available, entitled (downloads as a pdf). The 40-page note identifies issues, principles and strategies both for care and treatment of young children with HIV and addressing the broader developmental needs of children affected by the pandemic.
The Family Literacy Project in Durban, South Africa, has been selected as one of six "Breakthrough Ideas in Education" by (free registration required), a website which aims to enable educators from around the world to share information, knowledge and ideas.
Read a review (pdf) of the activities of the in 2006, including winning the Yigal Alon prize for contributions to the advancement of education towards democracy and peace in Israel. The Adam Institute implements the Building Blocks of Democracy project, part of the foundation's respect for diversity portfolio.