Promoting the science of nurturing care and sharing best practices in transitioning successful early childhood programmes to scale.
In the early 1970s, Bernard van Leer Foundation staff realised that many of the people they met working on early childhood development around the world did not know about each other. As a result, it was hard for them to see how their work and ideas could help one another serve young children more effectively. We started to type a newsletter and mail it to partners.
In the 1980s and 1990s, this evolved into a formal publishing programme: our journal Early Childhood Matters, first published in 1998, last year celebrated its 20th anniversary. Since the 2000s, we have become more active in organising opportunities for partners to meet and supporting advocacy to spread the message of why investing in the early years is so important.
Going beyond Parents+ and Urban95, our work on Building Blocks is an expression of our continued commitment to growing and strengthening the broader field of early childhood development. We continue to engage with the early childhood specialists who are at the core of our work, while at the same time trying to broaden the conversation to include more policymakers, funders and managers who are responsible for early childhood development within a larger portfolio of work.
The below cases detail some of the ways we have approached this task – from engagement with mainstream and specialist media to executive education programmes and coalition building.