Read about the Foundation’s work in 2021

Published April 25, 2022

Available in an interactive format, the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s Annual Report 2021 shares powerful stories about how we supported scaling policies and programmes that impact the wellbeing of babies, toddlers and their families during the last year.

Explore the interactive world map showing the work in our core countries and beyond, through our learning partnerships and global displacement portfolio, in our three investment areas: Urban95, Parents+ and Early Years Thought Leadership.

Stories in the report include:

This year we feel particularly proud of the learnings generated – through convenings, research, our Early Childhood Matters publication, and advocacy events – to share evidence and inform people on the many ways climate change and early childhood intersect. It is crucial to bring young children into the climate conversation and take collective responsibility and action to implement measures that can be beneficial for all.

“We will continue to learn and share evidence and lessons that can translate into lasting, structural change for young children and their families.” – Cecilia Vaca Jones, Executive Director

In their foreword Nanno Kleiterp – the Chair of the Board of Trustees – and Michael Feigelson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Van Leer Group, described the last year as one that showed the value of human connection. They write:

“In 2021, we drew great energy from the ways in which our team and partners championed the early childhood agenda despite the challenges of the pandemic… We are hopeful that 2022 will provide more opportunities for the kind of human connection that is so critical to young children’s development, as well as to the growth and development of our partnerships and team.”

Nanno and Michael also pay tribute to Cecilia Vaca Jones, who will be stepping down as the Executive Director next month after six years at the Foundation.

The Annual Report 2021 includes a comprehensive overview of our finances and grantmaking in the last year. It also contains summaries in Arabic, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish.