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

Blog - Calling for a two generation approach to child development 13-02-2015

Stepping up Early Childhood Development - World Bank'Over the years there has been a long standing recognition that child development is influenced by conditions facing families and in turn families are influenced by the community around them. These concepts have recently received renewed attention through a new report released by the World Bank, Stepping Up Early Childhood Development: Investing in Young Children for High Returns (Dendoba et al, 2014). The document provides a simple guide for policymakers and practitioners about how to invest in young children and families.'

Read the blog post written by Joan Lombardi, Senior Advisor of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, on our corporate blog website.

The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development – now also on YouTube! 11-02-2015

The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood DevelopmentThe Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development covers topics related to the development of the child, from conception to the age of five, and presents the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. The Encyclopedia is produced by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) and the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development (SKC-ECD), supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The Encyclopedia is intended for service providers, service planners, policy makers and parents.

Next to the website the Encyclopedia now also has its own YouTube channel, showcasing many interesting videos related to the development of children. Both the website and the YouTube channel are available free of charge. You can watch the videos here.

BvLF in the media: The case for paternity leave 10-02-2015

The case for paternity leaveIf you were a prospective father 20 years ago, getting paternity leave was almost universally a tricky business, no matter where you lived or worked. These days, the situation is different, to say the least. But even though we've made great strides the experts agreed there is much still left to be done to make paternity leave a universal-and universally acceptable-option for dads around the world.

'Mike Feigelson, executive director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation in The Hague, said that fathers who were early caregivers were healthier overall than those who weren't.'

Read the complete article by Jane Greenway on

Peru: the 'Infobarómetro de la Primera Infancia' now shows data on young children per region 04-02-2015

Infobarómetro de la Primera Infancia PeruThe Infobarómetro de la Primera Infancia (a tool to access data on the situation of young children in Peru, created by Salgalú with the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation) has just launched information per region. This information (figures about malnutrition and anaemia) is directly addressed to the elected governor for each region, aiming to demand relevant authorities to get into action to improve the situation of young children in their region. More information about the Infobarómetro de la Primera Infancia (information barometer on Early Childhood) can be found on their website. Read more

A career in global early child development? Apply for the Pat Engle Dissertation Grant 03-02-2015

Patrice L. Engle dissertation grantAs a legacy to Pat Engle, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, along with the Open Society Foundation and Pat’s family and friends, have established the Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant, providing support for students interested in a career in global early child development who are from or doing research in low- or middle-income countries. The Grant includes $5,000 to support dissertation research and a 2-year student membership to SRCD. More details and the application procedure can be found on the website of SRCD. The 2015 deadline for application is April 30th. Read more 

Blog - Learnings from the "Small Children, Big Cities" conference 02-02-2015

Humara Bachpan child advocates at the conference 'Small Children, Big Cities''Rapidly urbanizing India is undergoing changes on many fronts. India has a new government. There are technological changes, policy shifts and changes in the way people think. The democratic structure of this country allows us to be more vocal about our rights and ensure that they are being upheld. But there are many who are not even aware of their fundamental rights. I find myself wondering why they have been neglected for so long when they form the bulk of the population.'

Read the blog post written by Anoushka Gupta (student of Class XI, at the Shri Ram School, Moulsari, Gurgaon (Haryana) and volunteer for the Humara Bachpan Campaign, writing about issues of children growing up in urban poverty).

Brazil - New platform on Early Childhood launched 29-01-2015

Radar da Primeira InfanciaThe website Radar da Primeira Infância (Radar of Early Childhood) is a Brazilian platform offering qualified knowledge and updated information all related to Early Childhood. On a daily basis the ‘Radar team’ selects the best articles, reports, documents, videos, scientific research and systematic reviews available on the web about pregnancy, childbirth and children of 0-6 years, and presents this in a simple and intuitive way for its visitors. The website is an initiative of Foundation Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal and Alfa and Beto Institute (IAB), with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Read more

Documentary on the effects of violence on Brazilian children 20-01-2015

Documentary GLOBO - effects violence on Brazilian childrenLast Sunday the largest Brazilian television channel GLOBO broadcasted a documentary on the effects of violence on Brazilian children. In particular, the results of a research study carried out in Sao Paulo by the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCS) were presented. This study was supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The quality of the documentary and interest in the results of the study (community violence directly affects violence in the home, among others) have stimulated lots of attention among general public and the media in general. Watch the documentary (in Portugese).

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