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 and more recently an online platform. 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.
During this strategic plan, we will focus in particular on supporting advocacy that conveys the science of nurturing care and its impact on children from conception to age 3 and documenting and sharing best practices in transitioning small-scale early childhood development projects to large-scale policies and programmes. In this process, we will continue to engage with the early childhood specialists who are at the core of our work, while at the same time making an active effort to engage more frequently with policymakers, funders and managers who are responsible for early childhood development within a larger portfolio of work.


Early Childhood Matters 2017

Early Childhood Matters 2017

This latest edition of the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s journal showcases advances in early childhood development, bringing new ideas from around the world and exploring the challenges of scaling up. Read more

Annual Report 2016

The Bernard van Leer Foundation's Annual Report for 2016 shares highlights from the last year, including stories from Tel Aviv, Bhubaneshwar and the Amazon basin. It explores the new strategic… Read more

Early Childhood Matters 2016

The 2016 edition of Early Childhood Matters features contributions from UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake; WHO Assistant Director General Flavia Bustreo; Alice Albright and colleagues at the Global Partnership for… Read more

A good start: advances in early childhood development

Publication ECM124 A Good Start: advances in early childhood development

A special issue to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bernard van Leer Foundation's first grant in early childhood, this edition of ECM surveys the state of the early childhood… Read more

Annual Report 2015

Bernard van Leer Foundation - Annual Report 2015

This edition of the Bernard van Leer Foundation's Annual Report shares highlights from our work in 2015 and explains the thought processes that led us to the three new solution… Read more