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

NDTV Prime episode on 'Small children, big cities' 19-01-2015

NDTV prime episode 'Small children, big cities'Watch this episode of NDTV Prime about the conference ‘Small children, big cities’ organised by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the National Institute of Urban Affairs. It discusses the issue that children are an important part of our world and yet we have left them out in the planning of our cities.

This episode of NDTV Prime shares insights of experts from across platforms and their suggestions 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 episode

Investing in young children for high returns - read the new World Bank report 14-01-2015

World Bank report: Stepping Up Early Childhood Development‘Investing in young children is not only the right thing to do from an ethical point of view, but it is also the smart thing to do from an economic point of view for the children, as well as for their families, their communities, and society at large.’

But even though investments in ECD projects have increased considerably in the last few years, more can and has to be done to convince policy makers and practitioners to truly place ECD policies and programs at the core of their national development strategies. This is why the World Bank has created the report ‘Stepping Up Early Childhood Development’, a simple guide for policy makers and practitioners about how to invest in young children. Bernard van Leer Foundation's Senior Advisor Joan Lombardi has contributed to the realization of this report. Read more 

Michael Feigelson appointed Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation 13-01-2015

“Throughout Michael’s career, he has been committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young people. Whether as a street outreach worker on the frontlines serving homeless and working families, a McKinsey & Company consultant, or a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Behaviour, he has always demonstrated dedication and perseverance aimed at shaping the way in which all parts of society engage with our youngest citizens.”

Read the complete announcement from Robert Swaak, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Happy holidays! (office closed) 24-12-2014

Happy holidays!Please note that the Bernard van Leer Foundation office will be closed during the Holiday season. We are back in the office again on Friday January 2nd, 2015.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Video: Cuban home visiting programme ‘Educate Your Child’ 24-12-2014

Cuban home visiting programme 'Educate your child'In this video – funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation - you learn all about the Cuban home visiting programme ‘Educa a Tu Hijo’ (Educate Your Child), one of the most successful early childhood programmes in the world that operates at national scale. The full length video can be viewed here.

BvLF organised symposium 'Informed Families, Healthy Generations' in Turkey 18-12-2014

The Bernard van Leer Foundation, together with Culture City Foundation and Beyoglu Municipality organised the symposium 'Informed Families, Healthy Generations' held on December 11th in Istanbul, Turkey, discussing violence against children. The symposium was organised as a final event of a two-year project supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The Culture City Foundation, in collaboration with Beyoglu Municipality, provided seminars, trainings, counseling and referral services for both mothers and fathers through the ‘mansion houses’ of the municipality. Read more

Blog - Why we need to talk to babies more 16-12-2014

'The baby diaper market — led by Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark — is projected to reach USD 52.2 billion by 2017. As the market grows, so does the investment in technology. In a recent article about the industry, Lauren Coleman Lochner paints a portrait of scientists in lab coats using saline solution to identify ‘pee-points’ on the quest for a perfect diaper. No leaks, no rash. As fathers, we appreciate this commitment to excellence, but we also have a simple, inexpensive, low-tech request to the CEOs of the leading diaper producers — help us remember to talk to our babies.' - Michael Feigelson, interim Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and Marcos Nisti, Chief Executive Officer of The Alana Institute in Brazil (World Economic Forum, 18 November 2014).

Read Michael Feigelson & Marcos Nisti’s blog on World Economic Forum.

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

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