In this paper I discuss contemporary tensions between policy, research and practice within Danish early childhood education and care. I present a critical, but open-ended, pastiche narrative with elements of modernization, evidence-based practice and (post-) positivistic research. I draw on postmodern and post-pragmatist sources to construct this pastiche, and in doing so I focus on discourse, power and contextualized meaning. I do not keep politics out of my research (Denzin, 2006, p. 421) ? I write with political intent (Mac Naughton, 2005)!