The Bernard van Leer Foundation is an international grantmaking foundation based in The Hague.
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 promoting more cohesive, considerate and creative societies with equal opportunities and rights for all.
Latest news from the Bernard van Leer Foundation
On October 12th our executive director Lisa Jordan was present at the opening of the 25th Cinekid film festival, the international festival for media and young children aged 4 to 12. Princess Maxima and Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands were also present.
The Bernard van Leer Foundation asked Lege Fles productions to create a short film called Living in Media for the opening ceremony, in which young kids talk about their experience with media. Two elementary schools in the Netherlands, Bos & Vaart in Haarlem and the Mgr. Bekkerschool in Amsterdam, participated in the video, which you can watch below.
We are pleased to pass on a call for proposals from the UBS Optimus Foundation for proposals on projects that link the education and health sectors to improve outcomes for young children. See details of the call in this pdf and visit the foundation's website for further information on how to apply.
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 3 October 2011
Back to school time is one of the most stressful times for parents. Organising care for children can be challenging and in a place like the Netherlands it is more challenging than it should be. In The Hague, where I live, only two child care centres are linked with my children’s school and can pick them up for after-school care. Despite having hiked their fees, both have long waiting lists. That is not surprising. Parents who work full time cannot realistically run from the office to pick up their children at 3:00 every day so we will take what we can get. The situation for working parents with younger children looking for affordable quality childcare is comparable. It’s a challenge even if you have the income to pay costs that are on the rise due to a recent change in legislation by the Dutch government. Read more
New research supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and published in The Lancet reveals that increasing investment in early childhood development programmes is a highly cost-effective strategy that could provide considerable returns, with the potential to promote long-term growth and significantly reduce inequalities in low and middle income countries.
BvLF is also supporting an event to discuss the research, to be hosted by the World Bank on Monday 26th September from 12.30 to 14.00 EST. Further details of the event are on the Bank's website here, and the discussion will be webcasted here. To read the text of The Lancet's press release describing the new research, with links to abstracts, click here.
The Bernard van Leer Foundation is pleased to be supporting an upcoming conference on Growing SMEs Latin America, to be held in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 22-23. This conference aims to activate local resources to contribute to strengthening SMEs in emerging markets in ways that are both profitable and socially and environmentally sustainable. Organisers are the BiD Network, the School of Management of the Universidad de los Andes, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, New Ventures, and Creame.
The Bernard van Leer Foundation is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the Cinekid 25th International Film Festival for children aged 4-12, to be held in Amsterdam from October 12-21.
We have invited Michael H. Levine of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center - set up by the makers of Sesame Street to develop digital learning materials - to deliver a keynote speech and participate in an expert meeting on new media on October 18/19th. The expert meeting will advise BvLF on how to proceed with a planned further collaboration with the Cinekid Foundation to develop high quality media and new media content aimed at children.
Lisa Jordan, Executive Director of BvLF, said: "Today's reality is that young children live in a media world. If media is high quality, it presents positive development opportunities. It has the potential to reach young children wherever they live and whatever language they speak. Media can help children to express themselves, and help adults to understand children better. It can bring parents and children together by giving them the opportunity to share new experiences, such as the Cinekid festival."
If you are interested in participating in the expert meeting, please contact BvLF's Communications Director, Leontien Peeters. We are especially interested in the potential of interactive media to promote early learning, especially in remote areas which lack centre-based early learning facilities.
BvLF is funding a conference in Ankara on September 20-21 on Being children in seasonal migration: Living conditions of children aged 0-6. See further details of the conference (pdf) and the promotional youtube video.
The Douglas B. Marshall, Jr. Family Foundation, which works on education and research, is now accepting proposals for a new round of grantmaking. Particular interests are project work in education that is evidence-based, cost-effective and scalable in the long term, or research that contributes to the evidence base on what works to improve educational outcomes. Organizations and projects focused in developing countries are strongly encouraged to apply. The deadline for draft applications is September 23rd, and further details can be found here.
The BvLF-funded Infobarómetro de la Primera Infancia, run by partner Salgalú, was officially presented at an event last Friday. The Infobarómetro collates data on early childhood in Peru to inform policymaking and advocacy. Listen to the coverage of the event on Radio Programas del Perú (RPP) here (in Spanish).