The aim of this article is to analyse the early childhood education and care (ECEC) language policy in the city of Strasbourg, focusing on an ethnographic case study of a newly established bilingual English–French crèche in the city. In France, establishing an early childhood education structure – more specifically, a day care centre catering to young children – involves close coordination with national, departmental, and local government entities. Associations that embark on this process go through a long administrative process. Taking this fact into consideration, we maintain that to understand the language policy in ECEC, it is imperative to examine the overlapping participation of different government entities and services from the national, regional, departmental, city, and local levels. Our data reveal that the conceptualization of the language policy at a newly created bilingual crèche structure was highly influenced by top-down language policies and pervading language ideologies. Yet, the crèche personnel needed to interpret, negotiate, and appropriate this policy in order to consider its feasibility and to take into account the children's interests and welfare within the normal functioning of this early years structure.