Latest news from the Bernard van Leer Foundation
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 8 May 2013
Born in Poland, living in England, Sarah was six years old when she went on holiday to France with her mother and her mother’s new boyfriend. The police stopped their car for a routine traffic violation. The boyfriend fled. Sarah’s mother stayed with Sarah in the car. Drugs were found.
The police took Sarah’s mother away; she is now serving a multiyear sentence in a French prison. Sarah, who didn’t speak any French, was placed with a French foster family. It is hard to imagine what a trauma it must have been for her: one moment enjoying the excitement of a holiday, the next moment watching as her mother was led away by men whose words she couldn’t understand. She didn’t see her mother again for months.
Sarah is one of an estimated 800,000 children of prisoners growing up in Europe today. She committed no crime, yet she is surely serving a sentence. Read more
Speech given by Lisa Jordan – Executive Director Bernard van Leer Foundation – on April 16th 2013 in Brazil at the opening of The First International Seminar of the Parliamentary Front for Early Childhood on Building a Legal Framework for Public Policies on Early Childhood.
Read the entire speech we have posted on our blog.
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 28 March 2013
Today the journal of Child Development releases a new study on public preschool in the United States. Christina Weiland and Hirokazu Yoshikawa are the latest in a powerful scientific line-up to help make the investment case for young children.
What makes this study different from other studies that demonstrate the impact of preschool on children’s capacity to learn is that Christina and Hiro examined a scaled programme. As they note, “how to maintain impacts at scale is an open question in the field.”
This tricky question has bedevilled programmes across the world. Read more
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 6 February 2013
Since we completed our programme strategies in 2010/2011 the issue of tracking our impact has been at the top of our minds at the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The program team has developed key impact indicators from over 80 baseline research studies. These key impact indicators will allow us to track our progress over the next few years. In conjunction with Bertelsmann Foundation, the European Foundation Center and others BvLF is designing a new capacity building workshop for the European foundation sector on moving from good to great philanthropic practice. The Good to Great workshop will take place in June in Copenhagen at the European Foundation Center’s General Assembly meeting. The communications team is producing our annual report for 2012, the first since we adopted our new goals in which we can report preliminary results on creating greater opportunities for learning and growing in healthy and safe spaces. Read more
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 5 October 2012
I sometimes feel you can learn the most about the world by talking to cab drivers. At least they seem to be the ones on my travels that cut to the core of issues. On my last trip a cab driver said to me, 'I should not be driving a cab in New York City.' He is right. He is from the Niger Delta in Nigeria. And he drives a cab because at home in the Delta there is nothing but gas flares, polluted water and war, fuelled by oil deposits. Basically, no future for him or his children. He blames his government, but oil is poison no matter where it is found. I suspect if he went to Louisiana he would find it just like home. Read more
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 18 September 2012
After the summer lull, there is always a flurry of September activity. This year is no different, as we welcome exciting developments from around the world.
Starting here at home in The Netherlands, our local partner Sportbank held a sports day to mark the opening of the parliament on the Binnenhof, the government square in front of the Hall of Knights. Football players and Olympic champions left the politicians who participated in no doubt about how critical sport is to young children’s development. Read more
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 6 September 2012
It's election time in the Netherlands. On September 12th the Dutch will cast their votes with the euro crisis at the top of their minds. However daycare has also surfaced as one of the main topics in the political debates. All parties, in part through talks with my team, have expressed their desire to reverse the budget cuts planned for 2013 which would make quality daycare a luxury even fewer parents can afford. While we welcome the change of heart, reversing budget cuts is not enough. It is only the first step in a complete overhaul of the child care system that is necessary to allow all young children in the Netherlands to develop to their full potential. Read more
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 17 July 2012
June has been an incredibly busy but wonderful time for the Bernard van Leer Foundation. We had over 500 children in our office in The Hague. We witnessed wonderful results in Brazil where a € 3.7 billion federal programme to scale up services for young children in poverty was launched, and where 30 private and corporate foundations pledged their commitment to ‘invest in young children’. Read more
A film portraying the long term impact of child abuse is breaking through taboos.
People who grew up with abuse and neglect find it difficult or impossible to process their feelings and they often experience life as a fight. The lack of safety, security and love brings about a long search for processing, recognition and acceptance.
In the film Bas van Hout, a Dutch crime reporter, and Hameeda Lakho, the Pakistan born author of 'Hitting Home' and founding member of 'Stichting Geheim Geweld', talk about their traumatic experiences and the long impact of child abuse. Read more...
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 16 May 2012
Investing in young children is not rocket science. It’s actually neuroscience, with a little bit of molecular biology and genomics thrown in for good measure.
There is a revolution occurring today in neuroscience. What we are learning about children’s development is nothing short of a new paradigm. Everything you have always wanted to know about brain development and early childhood has been brought together in the latest Early Childhood in Focus #7.
Brain research is not telling us what to do with our kids. It is helping us understand why we do certain things with our babies and toddlers and what impact it has on their development. Read more