Childcare Center, Daycare, and Preschool Management Software4.7/5 (2419 reviews)
Brightwheel is an all-in-one childcare management software solution designed for child care programs such as centers, preschools, daycares, camps, and after-school programs. The platform provides directors, administrators, and staff teachers with the tools for digital child assessments, robust parent communications, online enrollment, automated reporting, online paperless billing, and more. Parents using brightwheel get access to real-time updates on their child’s activities with photos and notes via the real-time newsfeed.
Brightwheel provides centers with secure digital attendance and sign-in for both students and staff. Parents can 'quick scan' to check children in and out, and see real-time updates of their child. Center administrators can review attendance reports for licensing, billing, and management. Users can also manage additional approved individuals for safe student drop off and pick up.
With brightwheel, teachers can snap and share pictures during class, record daily events to share with families (either real-time or log and send at day's end), and use the spot check feature for quick head counts in the classroom. Assessments help teachers record student progress via text or voice, and report on any incidents. Brightwheel’s calendar helps schedule events for the classroom or entire school, including notifications for check-ins, photos and messaging for parents. All-in-all, brightwheel alleviates the pain of manual paperwork and modernizes programs to focus more time on the children.
Administrators can manage classrooms and rosters, as well as securely store family contact details. Detailed reporting provides access to all important information on centers, classrooms, and billing. Users can invoice families, automate bank deposits, and process credit or debit cards. Brightwheel also allows for pre-pay, split payments and email receipts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It makes managing student attendance and communication with parents much easier.
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.
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.
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!
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!
-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?
brightwheel premium: Contact brightwheel for pricing information.
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brightwheel offers the following pricing plans:
Pricing model: Free, Subscription
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brightwheel premium: Contact brightwheel for pricing information.
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brightwheel has the following typical customers:
Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Public Administrations, Small Business
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Android, iPhone, iPad
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FAQs, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials