Policy makers, educators, and scholars observe with interest how Nordic countries organise services for the education and care of the youngest children. The ‘Nordic model’ of ECEC has become synonymous with a holistic, children’s rights-based approach to pedagogy, grounded in democratic values. But as societies keep changing, what exactly characterises the ‘Nordic model’ today? Given the diversity between and within countries, are there common principles?We investigated the values and principles that underpin the evaluation of early childhood education and care in five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). We found that a ‘Nordic’ approach to evaluation still exists, although it is changing, not least under the influence of wider international developments. An important aspect of the ‘Nordic’ approach is the central role given to the local and municipal context.