brightwheel is an all-in-one solution designed for early education centers such as preschools, daycares, camps, and afterschool programs. The platform provides teachers and administrators with the tools for pupil assessment, parent communication, enrollment, reporting, online payments, 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 student:teacher ratios for all classes. 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, 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.
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.
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.
Likelihood to recommend
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!
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!
Likelihood to recommend
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.
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.
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.
Likelihood to recommend
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.
Just the mere fact it exists in my world, it is amazing.
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.
Likelihood to recommend
Daily Parent Communication
I love that this software is mobile, offers billing as well as parent communication. My clients enjoy the timeline viewing of the daily reports.
Families are unable to save videos sent via app.
The reports feature is very time consuming. The employee timecards and many other reports require you to change settings within your excel etc to view regular times, dates, etc. Reports have to be individually emailed to you to view.
Billing does not allow a way to show credits on accounts. Billing feature does not allow you to track and bill subsidized payments.
The child assessments and observations area need improvements.
The design of the student sign in and out is an issue for privacy because all students pictures, names and classrooms are displayed on screen and you have to find your child to check them in/out.
The employee access to this app is not desirable. When you send your employees a link to sign up and assign them to a classroom they can access client information and communicate with them outside of your program from their personal devices.
The app does not work if you are not on wifi. This is problematic when on field trips and trying to use the app for attendance and to update parents. A previous parent communication app that we used before this one allowed us to still use the app while offline and then the notes, pictures etc would upload when you got on wifi.
It is apparent that the developers of this app did not seek out the needs and suggestions of center owners or administrators otherwise a lot of these oversights would have never been made.
Likelihood to recommend
Below are some frequently asked questions for brightwheel.
brightwheel offers the following pricing plans:
Pricing model: Freemium, Subscription
Free Trial: Available
brightwheel premium: Contact brightwheel for pricing information.
brightwheel offers the following features:
brightwheel has the following typical customers:
brightwheel supports the following languages:
brightwheel has the following pricing plans:
brightwheel supports the following devices:
Android, iPhone, iPad
We do not have any information about what integrations brightwheel has
brightwheel offers the following support options:
FAQs, Online Support