Negative Review Policy

BPN subscribers may submit negative reviews that meet our Rules for Posting a Negative Review.  If your school or business has a negative review on BPN, please see Negative reviews on the website below.

Rules for Posting a Negative Review

In posting to any of the BPN newsletters, BPN subscribers agree to follow the Negative Review Policy and they affirm that their review does meet the following requirements:

  1. Unsolicited negative reviews: Negative reviews are not accepted when posting a review directly to the profile page of a school or business. Negative reviews may only be posted in Parent Q&A, in response to a recent query from another subscriber that specifically requests the type of service you are reviewing. Questions that appear to have been posted in order to solicit negative reviews are also not accepted. For more information, see the policy about unsolicited reviews.

  2. Individual people who are not businesses: Negative reviews are not accepted for individuals who 1) work for you in your home, under your direction, or 2) work for a business, school, or other organization where they are not the boss or director or principal. This includes teachers, playground supervisors, nannies, housekeepers, receptionists, waiters. These individuals typically do not have decision-making privileges at their business or school, and may have little control over the way the larger organization operates. 

  3. Accuracy: We require and assume that BPN subscribers who post negative reviews are posting a true and accurate account of their own first-hand experience. This is the case 99% of the time, but we do follow up with the subscriber who posted the review if there are any questions later about authenticity or accuracy.

  4. First-hand experience: Negative reviews and comments must be based on the first-hand experience of the BPN subscriber who is posting.  We do not accept negative comments based on the experiences of neighbors, friends, co-workers, or relatives. We do not accept negative reviews from people who work or used to work at the school or business they are reviewing. If you are posting a negative review of a school, class, or camp, your child must have actually attended, not just visited. If you are posting a negative review of a neighborhood, you must have actually lived in the neighborhood. 

  5. No opinions, no name-calling: Negative reviews must describe the events that caused you to have a bad experience, as objectively as possible, without subjective comments and opinions.  No derogatory adjectives are allowed, such as "was rude" or "work was shoddy".  BPN has this policy so that the reader has enough information to form her own opinion, rather than taking the word of a stranger.  

  6. Parent Q&A policies: Negative reviews and comments must follow all the policies for Parent Q&A.  For example, a negative review must address the original question that was asked -- if someone asks about a specific school, negative reviews about a different school are not accepted.

  7. Multiple negative reviews: BPN does not accept more than one review from the same subscriber about the same negative experience.

  8. Violations of laws & regulations: BPN does not accept negative reviews that describe situations that are regulated by law. This includes license violations at a daycare, malpractice, or abuse/neglect concerns. See License violations and illegal acts below.

License violations and illegal acts

BPN does not accept negative reviews that describe license violations, abuse or neglect, illegal acts, malpractice, or any other activities that are regulated by law. BPN has no way to investigate complaints to make sure they are true, nor can BPN take any action that will remedy the situation. If you think someone has broken the law, or violated the terms of their license, or engaged in any other activity that could result in legal action, please contact the proper authority such as the local police, Child Protective Services, the provider's licensing agency, or the like. If you need help identifying the proper agency to report this to, you may post to one of the newsletters or ask the moderator.  BPN also does not accept posts that describe past or pending legal actions and violations. We do not have the resources to confirm or deny information like this, and we do not want to publicize unchecked information that is potentially very damaging to a local business.

Please note: BPN only accepts reviews of licensed home-based daycares. Each childcare facility on the BPN website is linked to its record in the state's database, so that parents looking for childcare can review the state's records for that facility and find out about any past complaints or citations. See BPN's FAQ How to Look Up License Info for Preschools & Daycare for more info.  If you believe your daycare has violated the terms of its license, such as unauthorized care-givers, or neglect or abuse, please see About Childcare Licensing for information about filing a complaint with the State of California's Community Care Licensing office. BPN does not accept complaints about license violations.  Instead, we encourage parents to contact Community Care Licensing to file a complaint, because this agency is equipped and authorized to investigate daycare problems and take any needed actions. 

Negative reviews on the website

We do not remove negative reviews from our website except in very specific cases.

Prior to 2016, all reviews appeared first in one of the BPN newsletters, which were emailed to BPN subscribers. We eventually archived many of these newsletter reviews, positive and negative, to our website, and we continue to add archival reviews. We can't guarantee how fast these old reviews will be archived, or even if they will be archived. We do not archive any reviews to the website for people whom we consider are not businesses.

The current negative review policy was developed in May 2005, and has been revised several times since then. The BPN website has been online since 1995. Therefore older negative reviews may have been posted under previous policies. We update older reviews as time permits, but please be aware that some older reviews may conflict with the current policy. We also occasionally overlook a review that does not meet BPN policy, despite our best efforts. Please Contact Us to tell us about a review on our website that doesn't appear to meet the current policy.

If your business has a negative review

If your business is reviewed on our website, you can respond to the review or ask us to remove reviews as outlined below.

All reviews posted prior to 2016 appeared originally in one of the weekly email newsletters that were mailed to subscribers.  Reviews from the newsletters were later archived to the website, as time permitted.  Beginning in 2016, parents can post responses to questions directly on the website. All posts are reviewed by a BPN moderator to make sure they follow BPN policy.

Please Note! If there is a negative review of your business on BPN that contains factual errors or misinformation, or doesn't meet our policy in some other way, please Contact Us to notify us and we will investigate. We usually reply within a day or two.

Your options if your business has a negative review on BPN:

  1. Post a response. You can write a response to the review and we'll add it to the website directly following the negative review. Responding to a negative review can be a good opportunity not only to set the record straight, but also to let local parents know more about your business. Contact Us if you would like us to post a response.

  2. Older, non-compliant review. The current negative review policy was developed in May 2005 and has been revised several times since then. There may be older reviews on the website that predate the current policy. Please Contact Us to let us know about this situation.

  3. Professional standards exception. If you are prohibited from responding to a negative review because of privacy laws such as HIPAA or some other professional regulation, please Contact Us to let us know about this.

  4. New owner exception. If you are the new owner of a business (or the new director/principal at a school) and the negative reviews apply to the previous owner, we can remove the old postings and start afresh. In this case, please Contact Us.

  5. Remove all reviews. You can decline to be reviewed in the BPN. We'll remove all postings about your business that are currently on the website, good and bad, and add a note that you've asked not to be reviewed on the BPN. We will not accept further reviews of your business. Please Contact Us to request this.

Philosophy behind the negative review policy

BPN's main goal is to be useful to parents. We think it is useful for parents to read about others' bad experiences as well as the good, so they can make better decisions. However, negative reviews must be an accurate account of first-hand experience and must be written as objectively as possible so that the parents who read them can draw their own conclusions rather than taking someone else's word for it. Negative reviews that only give an opinion without any facts are not useful, and neither are rants, venting, and emotional responses.

We want to be fair to schools and businesses in our community. We don't want BPN to be a vehicle for spreading rumors and gossip, or as a way for disgruntled former employees to settle a score. The BPN policy is intended to prevent this, and volunteers make every effort to make sure that negative reviews meet this policy.

We also don't want to single out employees who may have little say in how their larger organization is run (like teachers), and we want to protect the privacy of individuals who work in the home (like housekeepers and babysitters.)

Our policy on negative reviews is meant to balance usefulness with fairness.

The current policy was last revised in November 2015.