Concern about the nature of the socialization of children in our post‐modernist society as well as related anxieties about social exclusion generally and its implications for social order have played a part in the British government's policy focus upon nursery education for all. Throughout the education system the national curricula innovations have explicitly highlighted values and citizenship as important to maintaining an inclusive society. The current paper is based on an ethnographic research design and addresses the ways in which nursery teaching staff provide children with a multiplicity of values. An attempt is made to contextualise their efforts sociologically through the social and moral theory of Emile Durkheim. In seeking to describe and explain the socialization process involved, in terms of the child‐centred nature of their values, the qualitative analysis of the interview data is suggestive of interesting differences between nurseries serving a range of socioeconomic communities in a Scottish town.