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About brightwheel

Get a free demo of our time saving management software for childcare and preschool directors. Streamline all of your center's tasks.

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Pros:

Keeps the students information in hand. Very useful and inexpensive if you use the trial version.

Cons:

The only thing that was sometimes frustrating was the messaging feature-sometimes we did not get an email notifying us there was a message and it would take a while to see and respond to it.

brightwheel ratings

Average score

Ease of Use
4.6
Customer Service
4.6
Features
4.5
Value for Money
4.5

Likelihood to recommend

8.9/10

brightwheel has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 3,144 user reviews on Capterra.

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Filter reviews (3,144)

Shawn
Shawn
IT Director in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Construction, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Daycare management tool that works

5.0 last month New

Pros:

Ease of use. App has a single GUI and allows multiple functions.

Cons:

If you have your child in more than one school that uses Brightwheel information can "bleed" across and be difficult to change. (billing,pictures,etc)

Marv
Administrator in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Brigthwheel is Great for Child Care Centers

5.0 last month New

Comments: We really enjoy using Brightwheel it is Absolutely Wonderful!!!

Pros:

Ease of use, User Friendly, Cost effective

Cons:

Not as intuitive as we like it to be. We like it to group students by family and to make it easier to find students and Parents together and not have look for them separately

Irene
Director in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Brightwheel a great way to keep in touch...

3.0 4 weeks ago New

Comments: Parents feel happy to see activities and they can send a message all the time to ask for child updates.

Pros:

I can be connected with parents, We can send updates messages and daily progress about their children. We have activities and parents can see what are we domain we are developing with their children

Cons:

We are improving daily communication with parents. We can show the Lesson Plan every day

Elna
Owner Director in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

We love Brightwheel

5.0 4 months ago

Comments: We love this program. We love that we are now paperless. Our billing is always on time, and direct deposit. We cannot say anything bad about this program. We have been with them for just over a year and they are wonderful to work with, and the program itself is amazing.

Pros:

I love that we can communicate with families in real time.

Cons:

Nothing that I can think of so far. We love this program.

Laurie
Executive Director in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Fantastic tool!

5.0 4 weeks ago New

Comments: From the time I actually signed up for the program, the customer service is always quick and informative. I really enjoy actually speaking to someone rather than a "bot" answer for every question.

Pros:

Brightwheel has opened the door of communication with my parents without taking the time away from the kids when I need to inform the parent of something that is happening. One click and I can immediately text a parent or send a picture to show a parent what is happening.

Cons:

I would really like a document hub that the parents can access so I didn't have to send the same document over and over.

Odette
Daycare provider in Canada
Facilities Services, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Good services, the APP is very professional.

4.0 4 weeks ago New

Comments: I have been enjoying to use Brightwheel in my home daycare.
It is great APP and the parents like a lot.
Thanks for let me use it.
Odette Patrocínio

Pros:

It is simple to use and very helpful to the day care providers and teachers. Also, the services provide are very professional and well managed. The costume service and technical supports are excellent and very attentive with the clients.

Cons:

Some services are no provide in Canada, such as payments method.

Anna
Project Manager in US
Nonprofit Organization Management, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Parent using brightwheel

5.0 2 months ago New

Comments: It was a nice surprise- I've never had this type of personal communication with my child's school.

Pros:

It is a great way to keep in touch with my child's teachers. I also love that I am able to receive pictures and updates on a daily basis.

Cons:

Sometimes I receive messages that do not apply to me, but I understand that it is a mass communication whether it's applicable for me or not.

Gladys
Owner in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Daycare Provider

5.0 2 months ago

Comments: Thank you so much for this wonderful idea, to create this app. I love it!

Pros:

Daily report to parents in the daycare it helps us a lot to communicate with them about their children, the parents love the pictures that we are sending to them.

Cons:

I like everything. Nothing is wrong, they did a good job. Thank you!

Alexa
Document Controller in US
Civil Engineering, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Connection Throughout the Day

5.0 2 months ago

Comments: Love that my care provider uses this app. Truly helps me feel connected to my child while I am at work and made my transition from leave to care an easier one.

Pros:

Love being able to see my child's daily activities, including what they are eating, when they are getting diaper changes (did they poop, or pee, or both? Did they need cream?), when did they go down for a nap?

Cons:

No real complaints. It's an easy platform to use!

becca
Director in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Brightwheel review

5.0 2 months ago

Comments: I've loved brightwheel since I first began using it over two and a half years ago and I'll always recommend it to anybody!

Pros:

Customer service is great and the app is simplified for both parents and staff

Cons:

I wish there wasnt a fee charged for online payments

Mabel
Administrative Assistant in US
Education Management, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Amazing!

5.0 3 years ago

Comments: The customer service is amazing! We are extremely pleased with how easy they made the switch from our old system. Every time we've had a question we have received a more than helpful response from their support staff. My employees love it and our parents love it.

Pros:

The Brightwheel app enables our employees to easily communicate with parents anytime of day or night and keeps them from giving out their personal phone numbers. The system is very user friendly and has easy to follow instructions and prompts.

Cons:

The reporting from a financial side is not very clear if you are coming from another system with a lot of information in reports. Inputting immunizations could be a little quicker like putting a date and selecting the immunizations that were given on the date would be great.

Mary Beth
Early Head Start Manager in US
Individual & Family Services, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Brightwheel Review

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: Overall Brightwheel has improved on communication, maintaining important documents, and ease of pulling reports for funding streams.

Pros:

Brightwheel has helped improve daily communication from home to program. Families seem to engage/communicate more to us via messaging feature. Directors/Managers and Families are able to view in real time what activites are happening in the rooms, which not only provides the families informtion on thier child but managers are able to utilize this feature in a staff evaluation. Win Win

Cons:

The ability to upload fillable forms for familes to complete via the app. The families we work with do not have access to computer, they use thier smart phone as thier main computer, and when we have to have them update a form, we still have to do this by asking them to complete and turn back in, which is a struggle since most of them loose the document and/or do not have time to stop and fill out onsite. Love to see the ablity for staff/admin to upload our fillable forms verses a read only document. I am aware that we can customize documents in Brightwheel, however we have a short book for intake paperwork.

Cristal
Director in US
Education Management, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

It's amazing!!!

5.0 last year

Comments: I use brightwheel for billing and receiving payments, sending statements, attendance recording and tracking, ratio tracking, daily communicating with parents, sending alerts and important notifications and last but not least, check-in and check-out recording. I'm sure there are details I am not thinking of right now. The best I can say is, I use brightwheel for everything!

Pros:

It's very easy to use, very user friendly and has so many helpful features. It really is a one stop shop because of everything it offers. I don't have to use other programs for various reports or tracking and even billing. It has brought peace to office chaos and helps parents with convenience and peace of mind.

Cons:

There are always new things that a center looks for to help processes become more efficient or comprehensive. So yes, there are things that can still be integrated in brightwheel, but they are always open to suggestions and feedback. As soon as ideas come up, they put things into play. Keep in mind, all things take time.

Paula
Owner-Director in US
E-Learning, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Best Decision Made All Year

5.0 last year

Comments: Our business has been impacted by having more time to improve care for our kiddos and costumer services to our parents using Brightwheel. Brightwheel saves you time after you have set up the program. They have great little video's online to help you out and costumer services is great also when my 65 year old brain is saying what? I will say because of my 65 year brain and technology that speaking to a person would be a little easier but hey I'm still getting it and understanding. Invest in the product!

Pros:

Billing!! What a time saver! Attendance & Staffing time saver! Communication with Parents time saver! Easy to learn and this is from a person that's not the brightest person on technology. (I was 63 years old now 65)

Cons:

Make longer videos to send to parents. That's it.

Julie
director in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Brightwheel has saved us so much time!

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: We were early adopters and have been using Brightwheel since 2015. Initially we just used the billing feature but as the new features rolled out we've integrated all of them. Using Brightwheel cuts admin time down to a minimum and allows teachers to share the day with parents so they can see their kids learning and growing. Billing is seamless. Brightwheel support has been amazing, especially through Covid19. Their webinars are helpful and to the point.

Pros:

I love Brightwheel! We've been using BW since 2015 and have saved so much time having billing, attendance and time cards at our fingertips.

Cons:

Tracking children's immunizations is not as fluid as it could be. Too much data entry. It would be better if parents could do the data entry and admin could check against paper records for accuracy.

Brittany
Preschool Teacher in US
Religious Institutions, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Perspective from a Teacher who is also a Parent using Brightwheel

4.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Brenda
Owner/teacher in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

True customer service.

5.0 8 months ago

Comments: Our experience with Brightwheel has been the best. Customer service is top notch. Outside of the program they offer trainings, resources, and tips and tricks to name a few.

Pros:

I love so many things about brightwheel. I love that I can share anecdotal records and photos with families, I can create a space to share photos with staff, and the ease of use of the app and online website. I am a big fan of Brightwheel and tell everyone about it. During the pandemic Brightwheel stood by us and even offered trainings for our staff at no cost when other similar companies we worked with would not work with us or gave us ultimatums. I will forever promote Brightwheel to others in the field and cannot thank them enough.

Cons:

There isn't really anything I don't like about Brightwheel. I notice that when I message staff together and they respond, staff can't see each other's message. I know this is a privacy concern but wonder if you can have a setting for this like "all staff" or individual staff. It's not a deal breaker. Many of the things I use to have issues with, they fixed them.

Jessica
Freelancer in US
Education Management, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Great Product! Easy to use for staff and parents.

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: Our general experience has been incredible. The product does the majority of what we really want and we can accomplish a work around for things that may one day be executed through client criticism. In particular we have NEVER had a keep out of programming or briefly inaccessible under any circumstance. We have approached our product always. That was not the situation for the product we were utilizing beforehand.

Pros:

The onboarding was simple and the expert was amicable and proficient. Client support was not difficult to contact with questions and reactions were proficient and clear for fast use. Broad web-based help is accessible readily available if necessary. Continuous participation and ongoing correspondence with guardians through the application are outstanding. Pictures are posted with inscriptions alongside one touch classes for fast future reference. Timecards are effortlessly produced for finance purposes while additionally furnishing constant proportion numbers with a dash of a button. Private or gathering informing is simple and assists with educator/chief/parent logging so everybody in question approaches what is being imparted.

Cons:

Brightwheel battles with after care charging/invoicing that our middle could profit from. The participation base charging for that needs choices with one touch switches to oblige various situations. The Room Device Mode additionally needs a switch for kids allocated to that study hall as a "homeroom" in their profile, rather than having the option to see all youngsters in the middle that are doled out to a room as an auxiliary room. Following room moves are basic to line up with state commands yet having a spotless clear line of sight of participation is likewise significant.

Amy
Director in US
Education Management, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Look forward to updates! Always getting better!

4.0 6 years ago

Comments: 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?

Hank
Owner/Consultant in US
Marketing & Advertising, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Brightwheel - easy and friendly!

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Dawn
Owner/Director in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Brightwheel Pros & Cons

4.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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).

Katie
Lead Teacher in US
Education Management, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Good but would like to see 2 other features for ease

3.0 5 years ago

Comments: It really is a wonderful tool to have for communication with parents. It makes sending pictures really easy. I love knowing that our parents can easily receive pictures of their child throughout the day. As a parent myself, I love receiving pictures of my son!

Pros:

I love the ability to post multiple pictures at the same time. All the options are easy to find and labeled really well (ie. nap, food, potty, etc.).

Cons:

First, I really don't like how difficult it is to edit a note, photo, or custom message if we spot an error after sending it. We have used another platform before that you could easily click on which students had the note that was sent out and you could edit it one time instead of having to go through each child. For example, to edit a "note" that was sent we would have to edit it 19 times to fix it. That's a lot! If you could update this I would really, REALLY love Brightwheel. Secondly, can we please have a "Sent" message page separate from just the one page that groups the sent and received all in one. I am missing incoming messages because they're getting lost in a bunch of other messages. And one more thing about messages. This would help out SO much! Can there be an option to mark a message as "Unread"? Sometimes my morning assistant will check a message but forget to tell me and unfortunately I won't see the notification that a message came in. But if it could be known that if anyone reads a message before the lead teacher they can easily indicate it as Unread and then no one will miss it.

Renee
Assitant Director in US
Education Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Brightwheel Review

5.0 11 months ago

Comments: Brightwheel is a great product for teachers/staff, parents and admin. It's so easy to use and quick to teach new staff! I love Brightwheel and couldn't imagine my center without! We are so pleased and happy with Brightwheel services and the Brightwheel employees are quick and sufficient replies!

Pros:

I like how the parents at my daycare see photos and videos of their child/ren that our staff posts on their throughout the day. I also like the messaging piece between teacher & parents as ell as administrative and parents too. I like how teachers can keep track of their children and post activities regarding the Mother Goose curriculum

Cons:

The integration with Brightwheel within my center was ease, I have no cons about Brightwheel it is amazing and helps us a lot at my center!

Zona
Administration Manager in US
Mental Health Care, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Great ABA software

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: It has been a great experience! We will continue to use it. Our staff and parents can use it and we are happy with it over all.

Pros:

The auto draft option for the parents, and how they can pull their financial reports anytime they like. I can add a one time charge if they are late or require additional hours of service. The reports are easy and setting up the parent insurance information is a breeze. I also like the chat feature - when I have a question or concern.

Cons:

That the parents can not use their HSA credit cards. The staff have said it is fixed, however my parents still have failed payments and can not use the card due to the system saying we are a day care service. If that could be fixed and placed under health services- the parents would be much happier, and I would not have to run their card manually and pay an extra cost for merchant services.

Cheryl
Family Childcare Provider and Early Educator in US
Education Management, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

So glad I went with this service!

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.