Coalitions that care: New case studies on breakthrough early childhood policy achievements

Published May 27, 2020

Both Israel and the Netherlands celebrated legislative breakthroughs in 2018. 

The Bernard van Leer Foundation and RAND Europe have released two new case studies on effective collective action campaigns that contributed to better care for babies, toddlers and caregivers at national scale.

Prior to 2018, Israel had no formal legislation or government agency responsible for early childhood care and education needs. However, the new Supervision Law, passed by the Israeli Knesset in July 2018, set out to improvthe supervision of daycare services for children under 3 years by creating regularised standards relating to staff training and the physical environment in daycares.  

Through the new WIEG law, the Netherlands secured paid birth leave for partners of mothers.  From January 2019, the new policy provides those within formal employment with five days of fully paid partner leave. This will be extended to five weeks of nontransferable partner leave paid at 70 per cent of normal pay from July 2020 onwards. 

In both cases, strong alliances were forged to support policy change. These case studies map the impact and value of such coalitions and draw out the key characteristics which contributed to success.  

Israel case study on the Coalition for Education from Birth documents how ANU and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, together with 250 members, campaigned for several policy changes to improve the care, safety and education for children under 3 years old.

See here for the case study summary 
See here for the case study full version 

The Netherlands case study on paid birth leave details how the partnership between Bernard van Leer Foundation, Rutgers and WOMEN Inc. aligned perspectives on children’s needs, men’s needs and women’s needs to focus on a single issue.

See here for the case study summary

“The case studies tell the story of two projects, supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, that successfully contributed to national legislative changes. They capture the process of building and maintaining broad-based partnerships that united diverse voices for a common cause – offering lessons for other organisations seeking to forge similar links in pursuit of legislative reform. The cases also offer insights for organisations funding and supporting such partnerships. Outlining the facilitators and possible barriers to achieving the desired changes, the case studies have the potential to inform current and future work to improve early child development policy and practice. Miriam Broeks and Ben Baruch, Researchers, RAND Europe. 

These case studies also form part of the Scaling Partnerships series, which provides detailed insights on the steps taken to achieve effective early childhood development policies and practices. Further case study publications in this series will be released later this year.