This article examines the role of state ideology in the formation of kindergarten curriculum documents in socialist Hungary during the 1970s and in contemporary neoliberal Australia. The study explores two landmark curriculum documents, of Hungary and Australia, respectively, comparing the ways in which "the child" is conceptualized in relation to each one's particular ideas of community. Departing from earlier studies that examine images of the child as they move through history, this study uses Foucauldian genealogy for analysis and constructs a vertical case study to compare ideas of "the child" and "community" embedded in the curriculum documents' respective discursive contexts of socialist and neoliberal political ideologies. Through examination of these case studies this paper also illustrates some of the ways curriculum documents written for the early years regulate children. Sometimes, such as in socialist curriculum, this occurs in explicit and ideologically explicit ways; at other times, such as in the neoliberal curriculum, a more covert and seemingly "apolitical" regulation takes place that is nonetheless equally powerful.