brightwheel Reviews

brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

4.66/5 (2,444 reviews)

Ted Keys

Great for Parents - Financial Info Could Be Improved

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2018-11-28
Review Source: Capterra

Overall, I am pleased with Brightwheel. I like having an almost all-in-one solution for our software needs as a daycare, and Brightwheel is super easy for our parents and our teachers. I would highly recommend it to other daycares. I am hoping the accounting portion of the software becomes more professional.

Pros
Our parents LOVE Brightwheel! It's easy, it's quick, and it connects them in real-time to what's going on with their children. They love getting pictures of their kids during the day. We love that the parents actually use it, are involved in the flow of information, and communicate with us through it.

Cons
The financial portion of the software needs a lot of improvement. I can't tie sibling billing statements together - this creates unessessary payments because parents should be able to make one single transaction to pay all of their unpaid invoices at once. Also, I have found it extremely difficult to see all the information clearly that I need to for bookkeeping. I can't see on each invoice what the daycare was charged in the way of a transaction fee. I know the total we are charged, but I need to know on each individual invoice. Plus, Brightwheel wants me to create a report to see information, instead of simply having it all visible in a list when I pull up the account. Side note: it would be great if we could have a tablet attached to a classroom account, rather than every device being attached to an employee account. I don't want my staff on their phones all day, so we use classroom tablets to interact with Brightwheel - all are logged into the director's account, so notes posted have my name on all of them. It's confusing to the parents. Plus, we have staff who are also parents of students; they can't see a parent account for their child - they are locked into the staff account.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Allison Morton

Make the transition to paperless!

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-27
Review Source: Capterra

We do not otherwise incorporate tech into our business, we use Quickbooks and simple excels, Brighthweel has not had a crazy learning curve and its just a great product.

Pros
We use Brightwheel chiefly for its billing functionality and to meet State licensing requirements regarding records of attendance, ratios, sign in and out, etc. These are records you have to keep for years and the stacks of Bankers boxes were towering! Now we can upon request create and print any report, for instance our licensor could request sign in and out records from a certain classroom on a certain date--it can be provided way faster than digging through those old paper files. Name to face attendance can be achieved confidently with the picture bubbles for all your students--you can feel confident as an admin that all transitions and ratios are covered For billing it is clean and streamlined--you can create plans, parents can establish autopay, they have constant access to their receipts and invoices, end of the year statements, your EIN, etc. It is a win win for both us as bookkeepers and for our parent clients. The interface is very clean--sign up is a breeze for new children and it would be very challenging to get confused on the parent screen. Brighthwheel saves us time AND paper.

Cons
Here is the thing--Brightwheel is constantly developing. So if you were to have a con you can feel assured your feedback will be heard. We have been with them nearing 3 years and have watched so many features get added on and updates made. They take customer feedback seriously and want to understand the industry's needs--we have had conference calls with developers and participated in a lot of dialogue about what we need and what works well.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Brittany Shenk

Perspective from a Teacher who is also a Parent using Brightwheel

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-27
Review Source: Capterra

Overall, I like the app. It is helpful during the day and once you get the hang of it, really easy to navigate and update, although it can be a bit time consuming. When I have emailed customer service they have emailed me back in a polite and timely manner, which is always a plus. This is my third school year using the app, and have yet to hear a negative comment from any of my student's families. All have had rave reviews, shared it with family members, and are constantly thanking me for sharing things with them throughout the day.

Pros
As a teacher, I like the convenience of being able to get in contact with the parents of my students quickly and effectively. I am able to keep track of attendance and absences easily, it also helps with parents who need to monitor their child's eating. As a parent, I like receiving updates about my child, especially pictures. When it is kept up by my child's teacher, it is a great app because I can see what is going on during his day even though I am not with him.

Cons
One of my biggest frustrations is that I have to COMPLETELY log out and log back in when switching from my teacher account and my parent account, at the same school. My son goes to the school that I work at but is in a different class. It would be so much easier if there was a way to toggle back and forth between the two. My other major concern is, though we have the app on our school chromebooks and it's great, I cannot upload pictures from the computer to the app to share them with parents. So, instead of keeping the app on my cellphone logged in to my child's account, I have to log out and then in to my teacher account to be able to share pictures of my students with their families. It is really frustrating. The parents of the children in my class are constantly giving me positive feedback about the app and love getting the pictures and videos, but it is difficult for me since I want to share the pictures with them but I can't do it all from the chromebook unless I try using the poor-quality webcam. It would be much more of a positive experience for me if I was able to use a classroom camera, upload the pictures to a computer, then be able to upload the pictures to the app for the families. I am sure that for someone who has a designated work cellphone or maybe even a tablet with a decent camera, this would not even be an issue, but for someone who has to use a personal cellphone to take and upload pictures to the app, is a bit of a downfall.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Matthew Wallace

The best app for schools, day cares, etc.

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2017-08-03
Review Source: Capterra

It makes managing student attendance and communication with parents much easier.

Pros
This is one of the best, if not the very best, solutions to make my life easier managing my school. We started using this app just in our after school program and soon adopted the check-in/out system for our entire attendance tracking solution. We are able to run reports to see who, when, and where someone was checked in for any given day in our school year. All of my suggestions have been heard and considered and almost all (if not all) have eventually been added. I love how well they receive feedback and how they want to serve institutions of all sizes. Having been a long time user since their infancy, I have had the opportunity to talk to many people with the company and they are all wonderful. I wish more companies were like them.

Cons
I feel like the free version is quite limited. It used to have many more features and I sang its praises to everyone. Now I have to start the conversation by discussing the financial part of the system, which limits some potential users. I wish it integrated with student information systems so that I didn't have to export and prepare csv to upload to create students. It would be much simpler to have an automated sync each night to create or remove students based on our current student system, Renweb. I'm beginning to realize that part of this is due to their growing attempt to take over the educational information realm, but they are not there yet.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Amy Tomblin

Look forward to updates! Always getting better!

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2018-08-22
Review Source: Capterra

Replacing Quickbooks, paper daily sheets, paper time sheets, check in/out logs for kids. LOVE the ability for the parents to message the staff instead of having to go through the office phone/email. Although this program has a few things that could be added, I would 100% make this switch!

Pros
Super easy for the teachers to use in the classroom. I like the set up on the teacher end. The billing system is pretty easy to use (1,000x easier than Quickbooks) especially because parents can see their account at any time. The parents really love the program and it has added a new level of quality to our program! Each update makes it better! I look forward to the updates!

Cons
-Sometimes I will message customer services is not very helpful. (Lots of apologies) For example: My end will not let me delete staff members. They offer to do it for me because it should work but the point is it doesn't but there is nothing they can do. Another example, when the update came for "Room Device Mode" I could not get this to work on our android devices, which i understand IOS update generally come first so I waited. Then I asked and I went through a few day long conversation about my device, systems, etc to only be told that is was not available for android. They all the sudden realized that the update was only for IOS? There are a few quirks that I hope get worked out through updates. I wish I could add notes to parents, calendar, messages, etc through the website. Typing these messages on my phone is a little annoying especailly if they are long. I would LOVE a way to message staff as a group or individuals through BW. We only use it for clocking in/out but I think there is so much more you could do with the staff end. Also if they could see their time cards would be super helpful! Maybe a request for a correct on the time sheets?

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Miss LaVondra

All Inclusive and FREE!!

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2016-07-24
Review Source: Capterra

I have researched what seems to be everywhere software on the market for our center. There were only 3 that covered all of my required expectations. Brightwheel was one of the 3. I hesitated because it was free and a newer company. I felt there HAD to be a catch to it. Especially since the other 2 companies were very expensive, I couldn't understand how all of this could be offered for free. I took the chance in November 2015 and I am could not be more pleased! This product has been absolutely free with no hidden costs. Our center uses the daily activity record, which includes an app for the parents to be able to view from their phones/tablets or they can log in to the website from a computer. The daily record includes photos that can be uploaded directly from your phone, all of the detailed info you would want a parent to know, it even has a "Notes" section. We use the calendar to add events for the parents to see. There is also the daily check in/out and the best thing is the parents can send a note thru the app to say arriving late today, not coming in today, or picking up early, etc. The ability to communicate the simple things thru the app saves time during pick up/drop off because a lot of questions are already answered on Brightwheel. The best thing of all is the billing. FREE for ACH debits and no hassle to you! There is also a credit card capability. All of our parents are required to sign up. You can do one time billing or set up a recurring billing plan and bills/reminders/receipts are sent automatically to the parent. The money is deposited to your business account and that's it! Sooo simple and painless! I understand their is a premium version of Brightwheel being released soon but the standard version is so incredible that I don't know WHAT to expect. :) I truly love this product. Our parents are impressed with it as well. AND it's free!

Pros
The price - free, the billing option, the ability to upload pics and name activities the children are engaged in, The calendar keeps everyone on the same page. I love it all!

Cons
None

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Audra Tsivikas

Happy Campers, San Carlos

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-27
Review Source: Capterra

Overall our experience has been really great. There were some serious issues when we decided to use Brightwheel billing. I'm certain those issues have been documented, but we seem to be good now. I have been a big fan of Brightwheel and sincerely look forward to what's next!

Pros
I love how much Brightwheel has improved since we first joined the program. Administration, Parents and Staff love all of the features. I am very happy with the way Brightwheel has fostered "community" between home and school, and even school and extended family. Grandparents love seeing their grandchildren and being in the loop. Community is very important to our program! I appreciate the level of professionalism Brightwheel adds to my program. Touring families always have great comments about Brightwheel.

Cons
I wish multiple accounts could be under one umbrella login. I do not like having to log out and log in to my three programs. We have an account with ADP and use just one login for all 3 programs. I simply just have to click which program I need to see. I wish I could access a simple version of a class list with birthdays and just parents names and emails without all of their personal information. Parents request class lists quite often for birthday party invitations. Perhaps even an "opt-in" directory for parents to see would be a great feature. Parents could choose to include email/phone numbers in the "public" directory.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Hank Powers

Brightwheel - easy and friendly!

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-10-03
Review Source: Capterra

I use Brightwheel at my children's preschool to check them in & out on a daily basis. It's a great system for that and is very fast. A simple 4 number pin/password gets me to my dashboard where only my kids show up and a click of a toggle button checks them in or out. Then, a quick signature (DHR compliant!) and I'm done. They use it for car pool on an iPad and it keeps the line moving. The school moved from a pen and paper set up which was much slower due to flipping through the clipboard to find your kids and signing for each of them. Plus, if it was raining the papers were a mess. The school has the iPads in a weatherproof cover that still allows for signature with the touch screen.

Pros
It's fast, efficient and very easy to use. It has a lot of features that we do not currently use, but used in the past. We only use it for checking kids into the preschool now, but have used the communication features in the past where the teachers could post pictures and send messages to the parents.

Cons
I really do not have any cons for Brightwheel. My experience has been very positive and I like the product. Being 100% honest, I have never had to contact customer service so I can not speak to that, but I do know that the implementation of the solution was pretty simple.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Danielle Higuera

Mixed Feelings

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2018-11-16
Review Source: Capterra

We are generally receiving our payments on time more. BrightWheel has caused new frustrations but relieved others. We like the parent communication aspect. The customer service of BrightWheel is getting better; however, I usually only get an answer after asking multiple people the same question and finally I will get a correct answer. They love their standard boilerplate responses which if I needed would have gotten from the library. The overall feeling of “we are only here to make the parent experience better” versus making the centers business operations better is frustrating. In the end, the center will get what we need and with BrightWheel a lot of times it causes inconvenience to the parents. Example, when a new child starts under the parents, they have to re-link to AutoPay. The parents can’t figure it out because of it shows they are linked with one student so we have to add their bill to their older student who doesn’t come anymore in order to get their autopay to work. That is not friendly experience for us or the parent. BrightWheel still needs a lot of work to get it to a product that is time-saving and beneficial for centers to use.

Pros
We love the AutoPay feature and the ability for our parents to get their invoices 24/7.

Cons
There isn’t a way to record credit, and when a payment fails without attempting to go through it doesn’t send an email to the parents or us. Also, when a payment fails it doesn’t give us an opportunity to recharge. Many parents will ask us to retry and we can’t without creating a new invoice. Also, on the Plan section, it doesn’t allow you to make changes to the days the invoice gets charged, or a new end date, etc. This means we are constantly canceling the plan and creating a new one.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Dawn Voysey

Brightwheel Pros & Cons

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2018-12-04
Review Source: Capterra

Our staff members are more informed on a daily basis and connected to the parents more. They receive updates on students versus relying on the director to pass on the information from a phone call or email.

Pros
1) It has aloud our staff members to connect with families more on a daily/weekly basis. 2) Staff are able to post pictures without using their phone storage. 3) Parents can sign-in & sign-out easier. Easier to add extra pick-up people. 4) Easier to obtain tuition payments from families. 5) Easier to have a visual of the school in one location (I can switch rooms and see who is there and the staff in the room. 6) Bi-monthly payroll is much easier with the time sheets.

Cons
1) There is no way to message staff members all at once or for them to receive a message as well. (example, I post the newsletter for parents and the staff would have to open a student file to view it or I mass message the parents but the staff do not receive the mass message as well. 2) I wish you could post pdf files to the parents versus just image files. (My newsletters and forms always have to be converted to pdf and then to image file. 3) Red sign-in kiosk screen is not good for viewing out in the sunlight. (blue & white would be better) 4) I am unable to find the observations easily for review later on for report as a class or objective/goal. 5) iPhone users seem to have trouble with the app more (receiving messages & they are not able to click on links that I may send either through messaging or under the notes).

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 7/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Nanette Arnold

Brightwheel helps with multiple facets of the preschool day!

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-02-01
Review Source: Capterra

As stated in the "pros" of this software, Brightwheel makes communication that much better between the preschool and the families. It allows for parents to really be connected with their child, and the the learning they are involved in all day, as well as those memorable moments, that the parent may not get to see as it is happening. I would recommend Brightwheel to all preschools for the fact that it is quite easy to use, it is fast to input data, and it is multi-functional. As a preschool teacher that has been teaching for 20 years, I feel this is one of the best tools I have had access to.

Pros
This software helps make the connection between home and the preschool setting stronger. It allows teachers and parents to communicate important information to each other. It allows for photos to be shared with the families, so that they can see the learning taking place in the classroom. It allows for teachers to keep track of the development that each child is going through, in a very structured, easy to understand format. I can't say enough good things about this software!

Cons
The software used to never have the video component, but they introduced that component within the last year, and it has really been a nice addition. It seems that the company really values the feedback of it's clients, and then implements the ideas. There is nothing I like the "least" about this software.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Colleen Bowne

Awesome app for our preschool and daycare!!!

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2018-11-16
Review Source: Capterra

Sometimes when trying to set up new families, the ap (on the parent's end) will ask for a code; identifying which school. I was never given/provided with a code, so sometimes I have to delete the child and start over to see if the parent is able to obtain the 4-digit code.

Pros
We can do everything with this app. It's great! Parents can sign their child in/out, which is perfect for state regulations. Parents can see what their child is up to throughout the day by way of 30 second videos, pictures, messages, notes, meals served and quantity of food each child ate, incident reports, medications administered and bathroom breaks. There is also a custom icon, and if you are a staff member of a facility with multiple rooms, you can move the children from one room to another, so parents and staff know where their child is at at all times. There is a calendar, observation section and you can even do billing! I couldn't imagine NOT using Brightwheel. It is so quick, easy and comprehensive. Each child is separate and each profile affords space for all pertinent information, including doctor/dentist information, address, parent contact, emergency contacts, allergies, medications, and DOB. It is very inexpensive an parents are able to know what their child did, rather than trying to ask the busy staff or ask their child. Multiple members can be added to a profile and all receive a 4-digit code for signing their child in/out of care. I would recommend it a million times over! Awesome Ap!

Cons
Wish the videos could be longer and you had the option to crop/edit the pictures and video length.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Paul Conway

Invaluable

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2017-09-01
Review Source: Capterra

Powerful and simple invoicing system; online database for students, parents, and staff; staff and student check-in, check-out, customizable reporting feature; easy phone app for parents and teachers; flexibility in designing to meet the needs of the school. Overall, the app was clearly developed to meet the needs of schools and is very intuitive in this regard. Very well done. We love that new features are constantly being developed and that the team is always interested in receiving our input.

Pros
We started off just needing an online database for our students. In a few months, this app became an indispensable tool at our school-- for both parents and staff. There are too many wonderful things about this app to list here in a few short sentences, but the highlights are: photo and status updates for parents, easy invoicing system, parent and teacher sign-in / sign-out, and so much more. The support team is also excellent, knowledgeable, accessible, friendly-- and timely in their response.

Cons
It seems the app until recently was in a testing or Beta phase, and as it moved into full production certain aspects of the app which were previously free and unlimited have suddenly and without warning been associated with a fee or have sudden limitations. That said, it's still absolutely worth it.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Amy Frano

Brightwheel a great software investment for our Early Learning Center

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2018-11-16
Review Source: Capterra

Overall Brightwheel has helped save so much time as an administrator. I don't have to spend the hours I used to spend handling the finances. All payments are automatically withdrawn and are deposited promptly. Communication with parents has increased to a very professional level. Our families love receiving updates throughout the day with pictures and videos of things their children are doing. We Love Brightwheel and would definitely recommend it to any size center.

Pros
Our center has been using Brightwheel for over a year now and we absolutely love it! I love the connection with parents through this software. Parents can stay up on how their child's day is going. I also like having the finances linked through the app. It is so convenient for parents. As an administrator it has become very user friendly and helps me to keep up on each class and ratios from my phone.

Cons
I do not like that any time I want a special report I have to submit it to be emailed. I would love to have access to more of the information as an administrator. This also goes with the financing I would like a little more control over when I send invoices dates on invoices etc. I also don't like how everything is alphabetized by first or last name. In the childcare industry birthdays are a great option to organize rooms as children move to the next room by their birthday and that is not a feature available on the app at this time.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Cheryl Vargas

So glad I went with this service!

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-12-04
Review Source: Capterra

Customer service is responsive, friendly and fast. I have seen this app change and grow for the better in just a few years. If you have looked at it or tried it in the past, take a second look. This app is extremely useful.

Pros
My families love this app, it makes communication easy. I feel like the increase in communication through this app during the day has helped me build deeper relationships with my families, help foster more positivity and trust, and help me help them with parenting topics, concerns and encouragement. The feature I love the most is autopay, all of my families use the payment feature. I never have to worry about chasing checks or manually adding payments for tax season.

Cons
I have had many issues sharing multiple photos at one time. I kind of gave up using this app as my primary way to share photos and set up a private group on social media for my families instead. I did enjoy how the app would keep an archive of the photos, but it was too much of a hassle for me to get them to upload, even after doing lots of troubleshooting. I don't use this app for this primary purpose, though and still feel the value is absolutely there with all the other features.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Stephanie Nutter

Brightwheel Review

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-16
Review Source: Capterra

We appreciate the added functions for this software with each update, and that service representatives are responsive when needed.

Pros
Our families like receiving the real-time updates through the Brightwheel app, especially photos and videos. Streamlined messaging, and the calendar features are beneficial tools for our school. We are pleased to have lesson planning and observation features included in this software, as well as reporting functions. In the coming year, we plan to implement use of the check-in kiosk for our families and appreciate Brightwheel having this feature as well.

Cons
Some functionality is lacking which could save a significant amount of time if implemented. We would like the option to upload weekly menus for meals/snacks in advance, and be able to 'copy' weekly menus to following weeks. Another time saver would be pre-programmed notes for a child's daily feed, such as "diapers needed" or "please bring a change of clothing". Also, the ability to 'copy' basic information in a child's profile to a sibling's profile rather than entering the data a second time would be helpful.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Heather Ellis

Invaluable App for Educators and Families

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2018-12-04
Review Source: Capterra

Please refer to the above answers.

Pros
The ability to upload photos with descriptions as well as categorize them into subjects/learning domains. It was exciting for parents to see photos in real time. It was also SUPER helpful that accident reports could be added in real time. Altogether the BEST feature was not having to write up separate accident reports, messages or newsletters to different parents by email or phone calls. Guardians provide their email to administration so that photos, messages, accident reports and newsletters go to all responsible parties easily. Then everyone is on the same page.

Cons
It was challenging to go back into newsletter/messages to edit. Parents complained they couldn’t send messages freely without choosing one of the pre-made options of the app. For instance, a parent could send a message to say that their child woke up once during the night and had trouble falling asleep as a heads up to the teacher that the child may be tired or cranky. Instead they had to choose an option such as the child would be absent that day. Additionally there was a very limited number of characters for parents to use in messages. Was not able to upload video successfully after many attempts.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Rya Pickard

Best system for communication in Childcare

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2018-10-01
Review Source: Capterra

My overall experience with Brightwheel has been extremely positive. I recommend it to any school, large or small, looking for a means of communication and organization amongst their program.

Pros
The program is extremely easy to learn to use. My staff and parents are able to download the app and begin communicating with one another instantly. With this program, parents feel as if they are with their child each day, which is invaluable for preschool families. Parents and teachers can communicate in real-time without disrupting their day. This program is the BEST means of communication and most convenient tool for educator documentation I have seen in my 15 years as an Educator and Administrator.

Cons
I would love to see more options with billing and attendance reports. There are still some reports that help with auditing accounts that are not yet part of this program. I would love to be able to quickly pull attendance records for a whole classroom for a week and compare with billing. Unfortunately I do have to pull multiple reports or scan through attendance feeds to do so currently, which does take up a lot of unnecessary time. Brightwheel has; however, been changing and updating constantly to meet our administrative needs!

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Rachel Bariro

Game changer for childcare providers!

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-16
Review Source: Capterra

Brightwheel is amazing and has definitely given our center an edge. When potential families find out we send pictures, updates, messages and general information throughout the day it often becomes the deciding factor in enrolling their child with us. It has given our teachers another way to connect with their families and build stronger, trusting relationships.

Pros
I love that brightwheel provides an "all in one" way to communicate to families and document daily activities. It's easy to use and our parents love it. What I like most about it is it has a two way messaging system so parents can send messages and staff can get right back to them. It completely eliminates the need for parents to have to try to get through by phone or email, they have direct access to their child's teacher.

Cons
One of the things I dislike about brightwheel is that the billing portion keeps changing. Our management staff will get used to how to do invoices and check reports and then once again the format will change. It definitely throws us off so it'd be nice for it to be figured out and kept that way.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Lilly Clark

brightwheel -- looking forward to developments

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2018-11-30
Review Source: Capterra

Overall I have enjoyed the app, as have my teachers and we get lots of positive feedback from parents. I do wish there was an option to just pick up a phone and call customer support and speak with them immediately for troubleshooting. We find that we spend more time than we would like helping families troubleshoot their BW issues -- most problems are quite simply solved but the time spent doing it adds up. It would be nice to just give families a number and have someone else help them since we already have a ton of stuff on our plate. For the most part though BW has been a gamechanger and we really enjoy the service... we are looking forward to the app growing and becoming more efficient and intuitive in the future.

Pros
I enjoy the service it provides. Connecting with parents, streamlining communication, the posting of photos, etc all help us maintain transparency with parents. The most recent messaging update has been a dramatic and valuable improvement.

Cons
It is not necessarily as intuitive as it should be. I think there are certain design elements that could help make it more user-friendly. The messaging system is great but could use some improvements in terms of searchability and archivability as well as overall efficiency. I would love to see a "search" button where you could message a parent not only from the "message" option but also directly from the child's profile as well as just "search" a child's name rather than have to scroll through the list to look at it.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 7/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Martha Bodington

Brightwheel is the best!

Used daily for less than 6 months
Reviewed 2016-10-04
Review Source: Capterra

Brightwheel has changed my life. I am a small licensed home daycare provider with 5 full time children from 3 families. Before Brightwheel I spent a minimum of 30 minutes a day writing in notebooks for my families. Every day I would jot down what we did, what they ate, how they slept and when they pooped. I also would take pictures and try to send them to the families on my phone, hoping every child looked good and that I had every child in every picture. Lol. Brightwheel changed my life because now I NO longer have to "worry" about the dreaded notebook everyday, I can update parents as our day goes on. It is wonderful, all my parents have remarked how they feel more connected with their child during the day knowing what they're doing! I also don't have to worry about the perfect picture, I can tag only the children in the picture, so I no longer worry about someone not being in the pic and that parent feeling bad, they don't even know I sent out that picture. It was a little scary getting started but every single question I asked (no matter how dumb) was answered quickly and once I realized there were certain things I could do on my phone and certain things I HAD to do on my computer it all got ALOT easier. It's hard not seeing what the parents see, but I have one Mom who is my "guinea pig" and we'll try the new things together and she'll let me know what she is seeing at the time. Another great thing about Brightwheel is it's good for my business, I am on the "cutting edge", my moms have other parents at their jobs who are jealous that they have Brightwheel and their daycare does not. Lol. I do share it with all daycare friends, I haven't converted anyone yet, but they all love it. So Brightwheel as made my days so much easier and we all love it.

Pros
Just the mere fact it exists in my world, it is amazing.

Cons
I'm not overly computer literate so I didn't realize there were certain things that I had to do on my computer and I couldn't do on my phone. I spent a couple of days feeling like a bit of an idiot until I figured that part out.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Nicole Allsop

It works well enough

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2018-11-17
Review Source: Capterra

I really like the app.

Pros
It’s easy to use and meets most of our needs. We are still learning all the features. I love your costumer service reps and the instant feedback. They are always very helpful and responsive👍🏾

Cons
Would love to be able to message the teachers only via brightwheel since we are all logged in and use it. It’ll be nice to go directly to the message when the notification comes up instead of have to go back to the individual class to retrieve the message. We are a small school with only 4 rooms so it’s easy to know which classroom to go to however, my last school had 18 classroom and if I had to search through all of those to match the room with the kid it would drive me bonkers with the amount of messages we receive daily. There needs to be a way to link people who are emergency contacts and approved pick ups so the list isn’t so long. And what’s the point of listing people as family members. Maybe a easier way to link siblings to the parents. I’ve struggled with that a lot😳 In the calendar section under reminders there is an option to select a date. It would be nice to be able to enter in reminders and have then sent out on that date. That way you could enter a bunch of stuff at once, say at the beginning of month and have hem go out automatically on the desired date.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Rebecca Cullinan

Brightwheel is great but could still be more amazing...

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-27
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
I love how easy it is to use and how simple it makes managing the classroom(s). Having everything connected to the same app is great and limits the amount of time I need to spend running payroll and billing.

Cons
I dislike that parents are not able to add their own approved pick ups. At this point all approved pickups need to be added by an administrator and have to have their own separate account. For a lot of families that are just adding people as an emergency or for very infrequent it doesn’t make sense. I also would appreciate not having to deal with it on my end and instead allowing the parents to add someone connected to their account but still with a separate check in code. I also would love a way to upload or create student files for all required licensing documents to move away from using so much paper and having those important files also stored with everything else in the system making it even easier to keep track of everyone and set families up when they start

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Tara Scott

Great product, needs some tweaking

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-16
Review Source: Capterra

I love Brightwheel because parents always have a digital record of their child's experience in our program! We get to highlight our program and the things we are doing great, without posting every little thing on social media. BUT, the billing feature needs a major overhaul!

Pros
I like that parents can see what's going on in our program--pictures, activities, and send messages to teachers, without teachers using their personal information.

Cons
The billing feature just isn't up-to-par. Bills are automated, but are done separately, so it doesn't keep running totals of how much money a parent owes or a credit they may have. So I spend lots of time trying to keep up with with invoice a payment credits toward or how much money they have leftover. It's very confusing and time consuming. I have to open up different buttons to see where payments were credited. I just spent 45 minutes going over payments with a parent--all because I can't see how much money they still have on their account. I also thought the price was a little high.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 5/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software

Debra Trebiatowski

Easier Life as a Owner & Director

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-11-16
Review Source: Capterra

As an Owner director of a childcare brightwheel makes my life a whole lot easier!

Pros
I am a preschool teach turned Director Owner and I am not very good with the whole computer thing. With brightwheel I do not need to be computer smart. I have been able to figure out everything by myself! I appreciate the time they have put into developing this app to make is easy to use for Directors, Teachers and Parents. I have never had to explain how to use the app to anyone. I use it for attendance, Daily Reports, Billing, Assessments and Messaging parent back and forth.

Cons
I really love everything about brightwheel and every time they upgrade something I am like WOW I love it even more. They are constantly improving on what I think is already really good. When I do have a suggestion I message them and they say they will pass it on. Several messages I have sent are now part of the app so they are listening.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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brightwheel

Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software