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Job vacancies at Bernard van Leer Foundation

A good start puts each individual child on the path to realising their full potential, and sets the foundation for a healthy, fair and peaceful society.

Founded in 1949, the Bernard van Leer Foundation focused in 1965 on working worldwide to ensure that babies, toddlers and the people who care for them have a good start in life. Our mission is to improve opportunities for all young children, especially the millions of young children growing up in circumstances of socio, economic and environmental disadvantage around the world.

After five decades of investing in early childhood development, we believe the major challenge is the transition to scale. By working together with governments, civil society, philanthropy, academia, international organisations and business, we find the best programmes and policies to improve children’s lives. We partner with them by providing funding, expertise, networks and support to scale these up for maximum impact.

Why focus on the early years?

The early years of life – from before birth to five years old – is a unique window of opportunity to improve lives.

Babies’ and toddlers’ brains develop rapidly, and small changes at this young age can have lifelong effects. Young children need plenty of love and attentive care from caregivers – in healthy environments – as well as opportunities for proper healthcare, nutrition, protection from harm and play.

Research has increasingly shown that investing in babies’ and toddlers’ development translates into better health, greater ability to learn and work with others, and higher incomes in adulthood.

Early experiences shape the brain:

Read more about the importance of investing in the early years on our Early Years Starter Kit.