This article seeks to draw attention to ways in which culturally based values and practices can and should influence implementation of globalised approaches to early childhood education and care across diverse contexts. Recent discussions have drawn attention to complexities associated with assimilation of globalised notions across diverse cultural contexts. This article is situated within such discussions, highlighting patterns of differentiation in the spread of globalisation across aspects of policy and practice. The article's position is that wider promotion of such patterns, as processes through which local values might mediate the impact of globalisation on early childhood services, will support avoidance of global 'recolonisation' of policy and practice. To illustrate, the article draws on examples from Hong Kong, where wide-ranging educational reforms were implemented following withdrawal of the British colonial government in 1997. A range of mixed responses to the reforms has prompted valuable discussions around challenges associated with framing educational development around globalised ideals. These responses are taken as a basis from which to suggest that, while governments across the globe may share a commitment to key goals for early childhood, local values can and should inform approaches to achieving such goals at the level of everyday practice.