Bernard van Leer Foundation

The Foundation seeks to enhance
opportunities for children up to age 8 who are growing up
in socially and economically difficult circumstances.

The Bernard van Leer Foundation funds and shares knowledge about work in early childhood development. The foundation was established in 1949 and is based in the Netherlands. Our income is derived from the bequest of Bernard van Leer, a Dutch industrialist and philanthropist, who lived from 1883 to 1958.

We work primarily by supporting programmes implemented by partners in the field. These include public, private and community-based organisations. Our strategy of working through partnerships is intended to build local capacity, promote innovation and flexibility, and help to ensure that the work we fund is culturally and contextually appropriate.

Our grantmaking pursues three goals:
- Taking quality early learning to scale.
- Reducing violence in young children's lives.
- Improving young children's physical environments

We focus our grantmaking on selected countries: Brazil, India, Israel, The Netherlands, Peru, Tanzania, Turkey and Uganda. We also pursue a regional approach within the European Union.

Until 2012, we will also be working in the Caribbean, Mexico and South Africa on the issue areas defined by our previous strategic plan: Strengthening the care environment, Successful transitions from home to school, and Social inclusion and respect for diversity.

Also central to our work is the ongoing effort to document and analyse the projects we support, with the twin aims of learning lessons for our future grantmaking activities and generating knowledge we can share. Through our evidence-based advocacy and publications, we aim to inform and influence policy and practice both in the countries where we operate and beyond.


Key information

Operation level:
Works with age groups:
Organisation type:
NGO - non governmental organisation


Organisation mandate

, Children 0 - 4

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