Tens of thousands of people from around the world have visited the schools or seen the travelling exhibition – The Hundred Languages of Childhood – about the schools, and many of the observers agree that something important, exciting and special has been taking place. This chapter discusses what makes these schools and the education they provide so important, exciting and special and how they constitute one of the 'alternative narratives of an area that is made up of a multitude of perspectives and debates' – a narrative that contests the dominant 'story of quality and high returns'. It explores Reggio Emilia's politics of early childhood education, which constitute its alternative narrative. One of the most fundamental values chosen by the municipal schools in Reggio Emilia is democracy. It argues that Reggio Emilia can be understood as a local cultural project, the project being a community, in this case a city, taking on responsibility for the education of its young children.