The Bernard van Leer Foundation has been active in Brazil since 1970. The country has around 21 million children between 0 and 6 years old, and a third of them live in poverty or extreme poverty. We direct efforts to minimise the risk factors to which children are exposed and that affect their integral development. Through all of the Foundation’s Investment Areas, we operate at municipal, state, and federal levels, supporting programmes and policies related to babies, toddlers, their caregivers and also the environment in which they live. We work together with government, partner organisations, consultants, civil society, and experts to build strong and powerful partnerships to advance the early childhood agenda in Brazil.

We celebrate and share scientific evidence on early years to inform managers for better decisions, as well as support civil society initiatives like the National Early Childhood Network.

Photo: Courtesy of Jacob Krupnick/Wild Combination

Working with cities

With more than 86% of Brazil’s population living in cities, our Urban95 programme works with Brazilian municipal leaders, urban planners, designers, and civil society to focus on babies, toddlers, and caregivers in the cross-sectoral planning and management of cities. Our Urban95 network in Brazil includes 24 municipalities of different sizes and in different regions of the country.

Photo: Courtesy of Raynaia Uchôa

Working with caregivers

In Brazil our Parents+ work strengthens parenting skills through partnerships with home visiting programmes, group interventions, programmes and services to support pregnant and postpartum women, and families in the first years of life. Care lines and protection networks are also essential aspects for thinking about public policies for early childhood.

We have partnered with the Ministry of Citizenship and UNDP to support the national home visiting programme Criança Feliz to maintain quality as it scales. We also work at the state and municipal levels, in addition to expanding our work to refugee and migrant children and caregivers.

Photo: Courtesy of Mauro Vieira/Criança Feliz

Working with Early Years champions

We connect inspiring individuals in Brazil to the Foundation’s network of local and global Early Years champions so that Brazilian early childhood policies, programmes and projects are expanded and improved. We offer them opportunities to gain knowledge and support in their field of interest through national and international courses with organisations such as Harvard, the London School of Economics, INSEAD and Insper.