- About License Violations what to look for, how to look up a daycare
- Preschool & Daycare Recommendations
- K-12 School Recommendations
How to Evaluate Reviews on the BPN Website
Reviews on this website were posted by parents who subscribe to BPN and who have first-hand experience with the daycare or school they are reviewing. Here are some tips about how to interpret the reviews on the BPN website.
1. Only BPN parent subscribers can post reviews.
Any parent who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area can subscribe to BPN and post a review of their child's daycare, preschool, school, or nanny. Parents must have first-hand experience with the school, not just visited. Reviews of licensed facilities (daycares and schools) are archived permanently to the website and are available to the public. Reviews of individuals such as nannies and teen babysitters are not public; they remain active on the site for 30 days and can only be viewed by BPN subscribers. Daycares, schools, nannies, and babysitters can pay a yearly fee to be Community Subscribers which allows them to post announcements about their programs and services, and also read subscriber-only postings from parents looking for childcare. Community Subscribers cannot post or edit reviews.
2. BPN only accepts reviews for daycares and preschools that are licensed by the State.
BPN does not accept reviews for unlicensed daycares and preschools. However, you should be aware that there are a few preschools and daycares that have numerous positive reviews on BPN, despite a significant number of license violations and complaints. Therefore, when you are researching childcare on BPN it is very important to review citations and complaints on the State's website. The facility license number is displayed at the top of the page for each daycare or preschool on the BPN website. Click on the license number to go to the State of California's license information, where you can view citations, inspections, and complaints. Beginning April 2015, full inspection reports are also available. See About License Violations for suggestions about how to interpret the State's licensing information.
3. "Unsolicited" reviews are accepted for daycares, preschools, and schools.
"Unsolicited" reviews on the BPN website are reviews that are not preceded by a question from another parent or by an "Re:" line, in the style of Yelp. BPN accepts unsolicited reviews 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.
4. Negative reviews are not accepted for individuals that are not considered by BPN to be a business.
BPN accepts negative reviews of schools, preschools, daycares and childcare centers as long as they are posted in response to a question, per BPN's Negative Review Policy. We do NOT accept negative reviews for individual people unless the meet BPN's definition of a business. 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. Nannies are not required to be licensed, but they can register with the state-operated Trustline database. Always check references before hiring a nanny.
5. Multiple unsolicited reviews
BPN doesn't accept multiple unsolicited reviews from the same person for the same school or childcare provider. One or two unsolicited reviews each year is typical for most schools and daycares on BPN. Multiple unsolicited reviews for the same school/daycare within just a few months is not common, 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.