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Ensuring a good start
for early childhood

Bernard van Leer Foundation


The brains and bodies of babies and toddlers develop faster during the first five years of life than at any other time. There is no better window of opportunity for governments and caregivers alike to make a lasting impact on their physical and mental health and well-being, learning capacity and earning potential.

The Bernard van Leer Foundation is working worldwide to inspire and inform large-scale action on Early Childhood Development (ECD). A long-term creative partner of the foundation, we were delighted to help the BvLF Knowledge for Policy team create an online guide on how to take early-years action for leaders and teams working in or with municipal and national governments.


Early childhood development, urban planning, parent-child services


Websites, reports and brochures


How do you demonstrate the benefits of developing ECD programmes to audiences of policymakers who may be unfamiliar with the subject or unaware of how their work can impact this area? The Early Years Starter Kit website seeks to do just this by providing technical staff, urban planners and designers and community conveners with knowledge and insights from initiatives across the world that provide ideas on what ECD programmes can include and how they might align with existing workstreams.

The aim was to create a comprehensive how-to guide for integrating early childhood thinking to government and city level policy alike. Our challenge was therefore to develop a website architecture that could not only deliver a top-level overview tailored to time-poor senior decision makers, but also give actionable next steps and guidance to programme leads and implementers.


Our discovery phase started with a series of stakeholder workshops where we explored the different audience groups to identify the background context, objectives and motivations for each. Armed with these insights we were able to create an architecture that caters to the different types of journey each of the audience groups will be making.

Why early years provides everything someone engaging with senior leadership would need to make the case at an overarching level. Aimed at the strategic level of decision makers, Programme areas offers detailed information on the different programmes and initiatives that the foundation has developed for implementing ECD thinking into policy. And Ideas for action and Implementation are detailed resources full of case studies and best-practice for officials and management tasked with executing programmes on the ground.

This architecture is realised with a simple and minimal aesthetic that prioritises accessibility and comprehension, ideal for the reference nature of the content taking place in a variety of global contexts.


Since launch the website has been used by a wide spectrum of ECD practitioners and received positive anecdotal feedback from many of the Foundation’s key stakeholders.

We continue to work with the Bernard van Leer Foundation on an expansion of the programme areas due to go public in December 2020.