About brightwheel


Brightwheel is a cloud-based classroom management solution that offers school management tools for teachers, administrators and parents. Key features include attendance tracking, daily reporting, learning management, billing and parent engagement. The solution is fit for school and childcare centers as well as individual caregivers.

Brightwheel allows parents to check in with students and staff through digital signatures, pin codes, QR code scans or a combination of these. Users can track, update and send daily attendance to parents and staff. Staff members can record students’ progress through text and voice messages and share them.

State learning standards and DRDP standards are supported by brightwheel, and users can also create custom learning standards using built-in templates. Parents can also interact with the staff, make payments and receive emergency alerts on their mobile phones.

The solution is available on a per student per month subscription basis which includes support via phone, email and chat.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Web browser (OS agnostic)

2,353 Reviews of brightwheel

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.65 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.5

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(1,635)

4 stars

(633)

3 stars

(75)

2 stars

(5)

1 stars

(5)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 2,353 reviews

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November 2018

Ted from Tree of Life Preschool & Daycare

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

3.0

November 2018

Great for Parents - Financial Info Could Be Improved

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.

November 2018

Allison from Small Wonders School

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2018

Make the transition to paperless!

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.

November 2018

Brittany from PELC

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

3.0

November 2018

Perspective from a Teacher who is also a Parent using Brightwheel

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.

August 2017

Matthew from Thales Academy

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

5.0

August 2017

The best app for schools, day cares, etc.

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.

August 2018

Amy from Eukarya King's Cubs

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

4.0

August 2018

Look forward to updates! Always getting better!

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?

July 2016

Miss from Little Scholars Schoolhouse

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2016

All Inclusive and FREE!!

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

November 2018

Audra from Happy Campers Preschool

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

3.0

November 2018

Happy Campers, San Carlos

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.

November 2018

Danielle from The Ark Learning Center

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

3.0

November 2018

Mixed Feelings

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.

December 2018

Dawn from Kid's World

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

December 2018

Brightwheel Pros & Cons

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).

February 2019

Nanette from Aspen Leaf Preschool

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2019

Brightwheel helps with multiple facets of the preschool day!

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.

November 2018

Colleen from The Growing Tree Child Care & Learning Center

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2018

Awesome app for our preschool and daycare!!!

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.

September 2017

Paul from City Kids LA

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2017

Invaluable

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, t