Using data from the International Social Survey Programme (2012), this study compares public attitudes towards who should cover the costs of caring for children and older people in five Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark) and two Baltic ones (Latvia and Lithuania). The study found interesting differences between both groups of nations: citizens from Baltic countries consider the role of the family more important than their counterparts in Nordic countries. Results show Latvians holding the most familistic views in terms of covering costs, and Swedish people the least. Individual socio-demographic variables are less important than national contexts in explaining these attitudes. The article finds important variations among the social-democratic countries and, surprisingly, in the case of childcare, Sweden shows higher differences to Denmark than to Latvia and Lithuania. This finding suggests that the social-democratic bloc in this respect is more heterogeneous than what is generally thought.