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

Documentary ‘1000 Days’ portrays the importance of the first 1,000 days in a child's life 15-12-2014

Have you ever thought about how the first thousand days of your child's life influence the rest of his/her life? Have you ever thought about the impact of health, food and family during this first period of life? The importance of these first 1,000 days are highlighted in the documentary ‘1000 Days’ made by Maria Farinha Filmes, with the support of Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal (FMCSV), the ALANA Foundation and the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The documentary will be launched in September 2015. Read more

Watch the NDTV Prime show on building sustainable and inclusive cities for children 10-12-2014

Last month the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the National Institute of Urban Affairs organised the conference 'Small children, big cities' in New Delhi, India to discuss the issue that children are an important part of our world and yet we have left them out in the planning of our cities.

Coming Saturday, December 13 at 1:00 PM (IST) a tv-show will be aired on NDTV Prime, in which they look at what experts from across platforms have to suggest for a better tomorrow for our children and how city leaders can best approach the task of building sustainable and inclusive cities from the perspective of young children. Watch the promo. 

Webinar 'Small children, big cities' 09-12-2014

Three authors from the latest edition of Early Childhood Matters ‘Small children, big cities’ – Gary Evans (Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, New York, USA), Lia Karsten (Associate Professor in Urban Geographies at the University of Amsterdam/AISSR, Netherlands, and Honorary Doctorate in Educational Science at Uppsala University, Sweden) and Marika Shioiri-Clark (Global Fellow, present their articles in this hour-long webinar held today, which includes an audience Q&A. You can also download the webinar presentation.

Blog - Time to Focus on the World’s Youngest Children 08-12-2014

'We recognize the opportunities to work across generations to improve opportunities not just for children, but for their families. The hope of stemming inequality rests with our willingness to provide opportunity right from the earliest years of life. In a world divided, it is time to come together around a common cause that can unite us, one that can ring in a new era of peace and one that can build on the world’s greatest resource—its children.' - Joan Lombardi, Senior Advisor Bernard van Leer Foundation (, 3 December 2014).

Read Joan Lombardi's blog about why we should focus on the world's youngest children.

Video: Fourth Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years (Amsterdam) 04-12-2014

Watch this video to see the results of the fourth Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years (held in June 2014 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands), supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The focus of this fourth meeting was: Evaluation of Early Childhood Programs and Assessment in the Early Years. The next Forum will be held in Dublin, Ireland, from January 26th – 28th, 2015. Read more

Conference ‘Small children, big cities’: How to build smart, child friendly cities? 03-12-2014

On 28-29 November 2014, the conference ‘Small children, big cities’ was held in New Delhi, India, hosted by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. With the growing number of Indian children growing up in urban areas, the subject of this two-day conference was: ‘How to build smart cities that are safer and more child friendly?' The conference was inaugurated by Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Urban Development, who expressed his concern over the harsh urban realities adversely affecting brain development and perspectives of young children, especially the poor. Read more

Small children, big cities: ECM launched today, Webinar December 9th 28-11-2014

ECM 123 coverYou can now downloadread on issuu or order your free printed copy of the latest edition of Early Childhood Matters, on the theme of Small children, big cities.

We are also pleased to invite you to a webinar, on December 9th, featuring three authors of articles from this edition: see further details and register now to book your place.

BvLF presents: ‘Small Children, Big Cities’ conference in New Delhi 26-11-2014

On 28-29 November 2014 the conference ‘Small Children, Big Cities’ will take place in New Delhi, India, hosted by the Bernard van Leer Foundation in partnership with Ministry of Urban Development, National Institute of Urban Affairs and School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is the lead partner for organizing this conference.
Participants will address the question of how city governments and local stakeholders can best contribute to the task of building sustainable and inclusive cities from the perspective of young children. Read more

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