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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Tadpoles vs Brightwheel for Daily Reports??
Crazy8 12:17 PM 08-16-2016
Has anyone else tried both and have a preference? I have been using tadpoles for a few months and like it. Today I am using Brightwheel for first time and feeling like it is lacking some things tadpoles has but I remember I didn't love Tadpoles at first either so I am trying to give it some time. If you've tried both can you tell me what you like/dislike about each of them??
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Crazy8 01:22 PM 08-16-2016
my first comparison... tadpoles emails report every evening, brightwheel I believe you have to check the app yourself?
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Blackcat31 11:13 AM 08-17-2016
I just downloaded and started using Brightwheel.

I have NOT invited any of my families yet because I really dont know what I am doing yet...

I think I need to play around with it first before I invite parents but I too am interested in hearing other provider's experiences and feed back about either Brightwheel or Tadpoles or any of the software that does this stuff...
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Crazy8 12:00 PM 08-17-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I just downloaded and started using Brightwheel.

I have NOT invited any of my families yet because I really dont know what I am doing yet...

I think I need to play around with it first before I invite parents but I too am interested in hearing other provider's experiences and feed back about either Brightwheel or Tadpoles or any of the software that does this stuff...
I put my own son in Brightwheel just so I could check it out and see if I can tell what my parents can see. One thing I am not sure I like about BW is parents can log in any time of day to see the report, Tadpoles they get the report at the end of the day when I check them out. Sometimes I don't get a chance to do many updates until nap time.
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Blackcat31 12:17 PM 08-17-2016
Originally Posted by Crazy8:
I put my own son in Brightwheel just so I could check it out and see if I can tell what my parents can see. One thing I am not sure I like about BW is parents can log in any time of day to see the report, Tadpoles they get the report at the end of the day when I check them out. Sometimes I don't get a chance to do many updates until nap time.
Oh, that makes a big difference to me too.. I have a mama with MAJOR anxiety and if she logged in just to check and I hadn't have updated it, I can totally see her freaking out and getting worried.

Maybe I will try them both out a little bit and then ask the parents of my infants which one they seem to like best....only as feedback though...not as a deciding vote.

It's got to be fairly pain free for me to enter stuff or I don't want to do it as we have our hands full already with everything we have going on during the day.
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MunchkinWrangler 12:59 PM 08-17-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Oh, that makes a big difference to me too.. I have a mama with MAJOR anxiety and if she logged in just to check and I hadn't have updated it, I can totally see her freaking out and getting worried.

Maybe I will try them both out a little bit and then ask the parents of my infants which one they seem to like best....only as feedback though...not as a deciding vote.

It's got to be fairly pain free for me to enter stuff or I don't want to do it as we have our hands full already with everything we have going on during the day.
That was my qualm about Brightwheel also. We have busy mornings and I don't think I'd be able to put anything on the schedule until naptime.

I want to use some type of app like this because then pickups would be quicker. I try to keep it short but a convo is always started or it leads to other things.
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LittleScholars 01:34 PM 08-17-2016
Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler:
That was my qualm about Brightwheel also. We have busy mornings and I don't think I'd be able to put anything on the schedule until naptime.

I want to use some type of app like this because then pickups would be quicker. I try to keep it short but a convo is always started or it leads to other things.
It really would be a pain to update all day. I DON'T, and parents know that I don't update in real time. I send pictures a few times throughout the day (I have media releases to share on the app), and they love that. Parents get push notifications if I add a photo or if I add a note, so they know when to check-in if they look forward to those. I use the note feature for more prominent moments I want to draw a parent's attention to, because there is also an "activity" feature that I can use to update parents on special things we did that day.

As far as the logistics, I update at nap or if I have a moment of downtime during free play. Since I don't have infants, I don't update every potty break after they potty train or if they haven't started truly training. We just all understand no news is good news/things are routine. For things like meals, I don't say much unless they didn't eat much or did great trying something new.

I like that I can send mass updates to all of the families, which makes it so much quicker if I'm adding a note that applies to all of the kiddos. Truthfully, I have days I'm better at updating and days I'm not as great. If I'm super tied up I just send updates during nap.

I can definitely see how that would be a pain for an infant that requires more updates or if parents expected live updates.

To your point, I do love that there isn't much at all to report at pick up. I actually get to catch up with the adults at pick up, which I love.
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Crazy8 02:07 PM 08-17-2016
another difference I noticed yesterday is Tadpoles lists all meals, then all diapers, then naps (maybe not in that order, but it groups them). Brightwheel lists chronologically - so am snack, diaper, lunch, diaper, pm snack. Its harder for me to see that way if I forgot to input a diaper change or something.

I also like that tadpoles has a "past" choice - so if a child has the same lunch every day I don't have to retype it every time.
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jenboo 02:45 PM 08-17-2016
I'm currently using brightwheel. So far I like it. I wish it saved the meals though so that I didn't have to retype meals that we have often.
I tell all my parents that I'm not always able to update in real time and will update when i have a chance. No one has issues with this.
I also really love their billing and that it's completely free.
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Unregistered 04:23 PM 08-17-2016
I just started using Daily Note by Kaymbu. So far I love it because it is easy to use. I can send the same notes for multiple children and just type it once. I am using the free version so I don't have the ability to take pictures and attach those like the other two apps, however that is ok for me since I have a website and Facebook page where I post pictures of what we are doing. I send it at the end of the day and parents can choose to have it texted or emailed to them.
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Crazy8 05:36 PM 08-18-2016
Originally Posted by jenboo:
I'm currently using brightwheel. So far I like it. I wish it saved the meals though so that I didn't have to retype meals that we have often.
I tell all my parents that I'm not always able to update in real time and will update when i have a chance. No one has issues with this.
I also really love their billing and that it's completely free.
The reason I was looking into Brightwheel is because of the billing option but I think I still prefer Tadpoles so think I'm going to stick with that and try to use Venmo for payments.
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Cat Herder 08:29 AM 01-26-2018
Bringing this back up for updates. It has been over a year. How do you guys like these programs, now? Also what is the actual pricing?
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daycarediva 10:17 AM 01-26-2018
brightwheel is still free, only you don't get some premium features (like video)

I have used it daily for almost 2 years now and I still love it. I don't use the payment feature, as I found that a little muddled (payments would take up to 5 business days to transfer to my account)

But otherwise it's great, I get great feedback on it, and it's easier to 'mass update'. I DO NOT 'individualize' each child when it's a group activity.

Eg. meals- one group photo sent to everyone, I don't list what we are having (look in the picture- I serve family style) or look at your menu.

Centers- group shot of the room/where the kids are at the beginning.

Recess- same

I only update the app if needed- like ate nothing, or actually tried something, etc.

I do take more pictures, but those are posted on social media (with a release)
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CityGarden 02:40 PM 01-30-2018
I have been using Brightwheel for a year now... parents like it once they get over the initial hesitation however I have come to not like it.

PROS:
CONS:
Parents in my program want to see photos and documentation of their children's day so I am still seeking something for that. I might go with the Shutterfly Share Classroom site and adjust the expectation from being individual to class updates.

I will also need something new for tracking funds but I know I'm over Brightwheel. My parents currently using it for billing (3 of 5) can continue the others and any new families will have to do e-pay or checks.
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Ladybutterfly 12:29 PM 02-07-2018
Would it be completely unheard of if i did not use an app that gives a report? -Gasp!!!-

I currently use brightwheel. However, I feel like I have to have my phone in my hand constantly to send updates. It's getting old. I like brightwheel and the parents love it but I wonder if I told them in a positive way that
it would be better for their child if I'm not busied by the constant phone interruption, or would that be a completely awful decision?

Or maybe I need to switch to tadpoles so that I just have one time I need to remember to enter things before the end of the day.
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Indoorvoice 08:07 AM 02-08-2018
I use brightwheel and I like it. I only update meals/bottles, diaper changes, and naps for infants. Anyone over 1 I only log meals and naps. I made very clear that I would only log at nap time so I don't have parents worrying about updates throughout the day. I actually don't mind the payment method at all and like that it sends them automatically. I like the check in kiosk. It has eliminated the parents letting their kids scribble all over my sign in book.
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CityGarden 12:13 PM 02-09-2018
Originally Posted by Ladybutterfly:
Would it be completely unheard of if i did not use an app that gives a report? -Gasp!!!-

I currently use brightwheel. However, I feel like I have to have my phone in my hand constantly to send updates. It's getting old. I like brightwheel and the parents love it but I wonder if I told them in a positive way that
it would be better for their child if I'm not busied by the constant phone interruption, or would that be a completely awful decision?

Or maybe I need to switch to tadpoles so that I just have one time I need to remember to enter things before the end of the day.
YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID!!!!!!!!!! That has been my experience and challenge with Brightwheel.

I am going to switch to Tadpoles, Seesaw, Paper Daily Reports (gasp) or just a Shutterfly Class Site (Shutterfly would be doing group updates not individual).

I have already fazed out Brightwheel for everything buy payments and explained to parents that in the interest of limiting screen time children were exposed to I would not be able to do Brightwheel updates as the phone was distracting to the children. Only one mom who struggles with her sons sleep really was disappointed.
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Tags:apps, brightwheel, software for daycares, software/apps, tadpoles
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