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

Policy paper from Children in Europe 30-05-2008

Foundation partner Children in Europe has produced a policy paper (pdf) entitled Young children and their services: developing a European approach which aims to stimulate a democratic dialogue about the need for a Europe-wide political approach to services for young children.

Wona Sanana launches new website 27-05-2008

Wona Sanana, a partner of the foundation in Mozambique, has launched a new website.

Early childhood in the Caribbean 21-05-2008

Early childhood in the Caribbean, a new working paper based on research by Christine Barrow, looks at the development and socialisation of children under 5 years of age in two Caribbean countries, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica.

Ultra-Orthodox children visit new kindergarten 16-05-2008

A visit of children from Israeli Ultra-Orthodox communities to the eponymous kindergarten centre of the project A Kindergarten Centre for Charedi Children, implemented by the foundation's partner Mercaz Beth Jacob, was the subject of a detailed description in the Hamodia newspaper of 20 March; read our translation (pdf) into English, and view images of the newly-opened centre (1 - 2 - 3).

President Bush visits foundation project in Israel 15-05-2008

On a visit to Israel, President Bush will meet youths at foundation partner organisation the Bible Lands Museum. First Lady Laura Bush earlier visited an Arab-Jewish school run by another foundation partner, Hand in Hand. More reportage (in Dutch). Read more

New ECiF on Developing Positive Identities 22-04-2008

A new edition of Early Childhood in Focus, a collaboration between the Foundation and the Open University, surveys the theory and evidence surrounding what makes for positive identity and how it can be affected by diversity, adversity and discrimination. Order  your free printed copy of Developing Positive Identities: Young Children and Diversity or download the pdf.

Polish preschools project wins recognition 22-04-2008

The Comenius Foundation's project Where There Are No Preschools: Promoting Pre-school Education in Rural Areas has won first prize in the Pro Publico Bono Competition, which supports the development of civil society in Poland, for the Best Civil Initiative in Education. Read more about the award here and more about the project here.

"Business Champions" invited to The Hague 18-04-2008

To be held in The Hague on April 22nd and 23rd, Business Champions for Early Child Development (pdf) is the first event in a new initiative, co-organised with the Committee for Economic Development and the Wolfensohn Center for Development at the Brookings Institution, which seeks to bring the importance of early child development to the forefront of international economic debates. Read more

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