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 - 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

#Bringingfathersin: Helping global activists to embrace "dad power" 19-11-2014

The Fatherhood Institute and MenCare are launching Bringing Fathers In (developed with BvLF support), a series of practical resources to help health, education and social care professionals, policy makers, programme managers and designers, researchers and evaluators across the world work in ways that build on dads’ vital role in improving children’s outcomes. Read more

BvLF sponsors Dutch kids science programme 'Full Proof' 11-11-2014

From Saturday November 15 a new series of ‘Full Proof’ – a science programme for children, sponsored by the Bernard van Leer Foundation – will be broadcast on Dutch television. On TV, science is often practised by men in a laboratory wearing white coats. Full Proof is different; it goes outside and lets children themselves explain the experiments. Read more

Blog - Leverage: Just Another Fancy Word? 27-10-2014

'If foundations are serious about leveraging resources for the greatest good, they need to hone every dimension of their own management.' - Michael Feigelson, Interim Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 10 October 2014)

Read Michael Feigelson's blog about leverage on Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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