What You Should Know About Daycare & Preschool Reviews on BPN
Reviews on this website were posted by parents who subscribe to BPN and who have first-hand experience with the daycare or preschool they are reviewing. Here are some tips about how to interpret the reviews on the BPN website.
1. BPN accepts reviews only for daycares and preschools that are licensed by the State.
BPN displays the license number at the top of the page for each daycare or preschool. Clicking on the license number takes you to the State of California's license info for that facility, which includes citations, inspections, and complaints. See About License Violations for details, and for help interpreting the State's information.
2. "Unsolicited" reviews are accepted for daycares and preschools.
"Unsolicited" reviews on the BPN website are reviews that are not preceeded by a question from another parent or by an "Re:" line. BPN accepts unsolicited reviews in the style of Yelp only for daycares, preschools, schools, and tutors. All other BPN reviews (for doctors, professional services, local businesses, etc.) must be posted in response to a recent request in one of the BPN email newsletters, per this policy .
An unsolicited review for a preschool or childcare center on the BPN website may represent a parent's spur-of-the-moment expression of satisfaction in their child's daycare or school, or the review may have been prompted by a request from the school to parents (see the next section for more information about this.)
Note: Most reviews of home-based programs were unsolicited. These reviews were posted originally to the weekly Childcare newsletter, which, unlike other BPN newsletters, does not have a Question-and-Answer format.
3. Negative reviews are not accepted for childcare that takes place in someone's home.
BPN does accept negative reviews of schools, preschools, and childcare centers as long as they are not based in someone's home and are posted in response to a question. However, per BPN's Negative Review Policy, home-based businesses and services are among the few types of businesses that we do NOT accept negative reviews for. This means that you will only read about the good, not the bad, in BPN's reviews of childcare based in someone's home. Therefore, you should take care to review any licensing violations and complaints for the daycare you are researching. See About License Violations for how to look up a daycare and what to pay attention to.
4. Pay attention to multiple unsolicited reviews for the same daycare or preschool in a short timespan.
One or two unsolicited reviews each year is typical for most preschools and daycares on BPN. Multiple unsolicited reviews for the same school/daycare within just a few months is unusual, and may indicate that the school has put out a notice to parents to post reviews to BPN. A pattern of multiple unsolicited reviews over several years may signal that the school has a history of compensating parents for posting positive reviews. This is against BPN's policy on Compensated Reviews and we do make an effort to monitor for this, but it is difficult to enforce.
A burst of unsolicited reviews could also indicate that the school has frequent openings, or is having trouble keeping enrollment up, and has asked parents to post reviews to generate more interest in the school.
5. Check the State's license information
Parents should be aware that there are several preschools and daycares that have numerous positive reviews on BPN despite a significant number of license violations and complaints. When you are researching childcare on BPN it is very important to review citations and complaints on the State's website (click the license # at the top of the page.)
- About License Violations what to look for, how to look up a daycare
- Preschool & Daycare Recommendations
- Inspection Reports for Alameda & Contra Costa counties (Reveal website)