Turning Negative Reviews into Positive Opportunities for Your Childcare Service

Has your childcare service ever received a one-star review?

If so, you’re not alone. We all know what it feels like to get that first one-star review. It can feel like a personal attack—it’s damaging, it hurts, and it can keep you up at night. But relax, take a deep breath, and let’s turn this around. Today, we’re diving deep into handling honest, negative reviews and transforming them into opportunities.

Note: We’ll cover fake negative reviews in another post since they require a different approach.

Why Reviews Matter

Before we get into the how-tos, let’s discuss some important statistics about reviews and your service:

  • 90% of customers check reviews before stepping into a business (Forbes).

  • 93% of families look at reviews to judge a local service’s quality. (Qualtrics)

  • 72% won’t take action until they’ve read positive feedback. (Bright Local)

Google reviews, in particular, often create the first impression for potential families. They shape perceptions and influence decisions. While five-star reviews and praise are fantastic, criticism is inevitable but can be turned into an opportunity. Here’s how:

Steps to Handle Negative Reviews

1. Respond Promptly

When you receive a negative Google review, respond promptly. A swift reply shows that you care and are listening, which can help mend fences while the issue is still fresh.

2. Keep It Professional

No matter how tempting it is, never lash out or take things personally. Your response paints a picture for other potential families reading the review. Imagine yourself as the cool, calm, collected provider who listens and improves, even if deep down, you feel otherwise.

3. Understand and Investigate

If a review points out a specific issue, investigate it thoroughly. Own up to your mistakes and clearly communicate any corrective steps you’ve taken or plan to take. Transparency is key here, showing that you value feedback and are committed to excellence.

4. Apologise Smartly

Say sorry when necessary, but don’t shoulder the blame for unfounded complaints. Focus on what you can fix and improve, and show compassion and empathy. Remember, other people will be reading this review.

5. Move It Offline

After addressing the issue publicly, offer to discuss things further via phone or email. This shows you’re serious about finding a solution and adds a personal touch to your service.

6. Provide a Solution and Follow-Up

After following the previous steps, provide a solution and follow up personally with the reviewer. Whether you need to make internal improvements or address specific concerns, keep the reviewer in the loop. This can encourage them to update or even delete their negative review, which is the ultimate outcome.

Bonus Step: Encourage Positive Reviews

Proactively manage your online reputation by encouraging satisfied families to share their experiences online. More positive reviews don’t just boost your service’s image; they also dilute the occasional negative review. Fun fact: a service that receives five fresh five-star reviews boosts its contact chances by 270%.


Navigating both positive and negative Google reviews requires patience, empathy, and an active approach. We hope this guide has been informative and that you’ve found something you can implement in your childcare service today.

For more information, be sure to subscribe to our channel or follow us on your preferred platform. Check out our blog for real response examples to negative reviews that can inspire your own.

Thank you for joining us, and until next time, I’m Martin from Enrolment Boost.

Example Review Responses

Example 1: Addressing Specific Concerns

Review: “The staff was rude and unhelpful. My child was unhappy here.”

Response: “Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry to hear about your experience and are committed to making improvements. We value your concerns and would like to discuss this further to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Please contact us directly at [contact information].”

Example 2: Acknowledging and Offering Solutions

Review: “The facility wasn’t clean, and my child got sick frequently.”

Response: “We apologise for your experience and take cleanliness very seriously. We’ve implemented new cleaning protocols to address this issue. Please reach out to us at [contact information] so we can discuss further steps to improve our service.”

Example 3: Empathising and Moving Forward

Review: “I felt my concerns weren’t taken seriously by the staff.”

Response: “We’re sorry you felt this way and appreciate your feedback. We strive to ensure all families feel heard and valued. We’ve provided additional training to our staff to better handle concerns. We’d love to discuss this with you directly at [contact information] to make things right.”

By following these steps and crafting thoughtful responses, you can turn negative reviews into opportunities for growth and improvement, ultimately enhancing your childcare service’s reputation.




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