Our Top Picks

Brightwheel Logo
brightwheel
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Registration management

Brightwheel is an all-in-one classroom management solution for attendance, billing, child activity plans, and parent engagement. With Brightwheel, educators can easily manage room ratios and create staggered schedules in real time. The software features detailed reports for each child, enabling users to log daily accomplishments, check special dietary needs, and upload videos of educational milestones for parents to review. Brightwheel's communication controls allow educators to share incident reports and student progress with staff. Billing features include recurring statements, one-time payments, and the ability to accept payments from any device. Brightwheel also comes with payroll functionality for tracking hours worked by staff.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • No training required
  • Includes lesson plans that meet state educational standards

Cons

  • Free plan limited to one staff member only
  • Dedicated support for paid plan only

Summary

Brightwheel Logo
brightwheel
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Parent Portal
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Registration management
EZCare Logo
EZCare
  • Deployment: Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Parent portal

EZCare's cloud-based childcare management system includes all the tools necessary for organizing administrative tasks, including schedules, enrollment, billing, and parent communications. The software's integrated online portal, EZSmiles, allows parents to view their child's daily activities and milestones, as well as make payments from any desktop or mobile device. Scheduling tools enable educators to identify enrollment opportunities and maximize staff-to-student ratios in the classroom. The Staff Module, included with all Essentials and Premier plans, lets users keep track of payroll, staff training, certifications, and employee communications. EZCare can be used at multiple sites for no additional charge.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fee-free Payment Services gateway
  • Robust resource library

Cons

  • Setup charge
  • Extra fee for online forms

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Premier: $149/month
    • Essentials: $99/month
    • Express: $59/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Parent Portal
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Parent portal
Illumine Logo
Illumine
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Reports

Illumine's preschool and daycare management app is designed for both in-person and virtual learning, with features including online videoconferencing, session recording, live chat, and an interactive whiteboard. The software features a parent-teacher communication app for student progress reports and daily logs of activities. With the live streaming functionality, parents can watch educators interact with their kids in real time. The centralized admin dashboard provides an at-a-glance overview of attendance and billing, as well as staff payroll and enrollment leads. Illumine supports integration with QuickBooks, Salesforce, and most other major accounting software.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free plan
  • Discount for 80+ students
  • No installation necessary

Cons

  • Virtual classes only for Business and Enterprise
  • Dedicated support for Enterprise only

Summary

Illumine Logo
Illumine
  • Starting Price
    • Starter: Free
    • Standard: $0.50/month
    • Business: $1.49/month
    • Enterprise: $1.99/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    3-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Parent Portal
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Reports
Kinderlime Logo
Kinderlime
  • Deployment: Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Parent portal

Formerly Kinderlime, Procare's childcare app can help educators manage their curriculum, plan daily lessons, and keep track of student milestones. The software features contactless QR code check-in and pickup; it also offers a biometric fingerprint reader and keyless entry system for added safety and security. Procare includes pre-loaded early learning standards for all 50 states, so teachers can be sure students are staying on track. The Tuition Express platform allows parents to set up recurring automated billing or make payments when checking kids in. Comprehensive reporting tools enable users to monitor enrollment data and ensure each site complies with staff-student classroom ratios.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Pre-loaded early learning standards
  • Integrates with Procare security hardware
  • Training available

Cons

  • Phone support during business hours only
  • Extra charge for Tuition Express

Summary

Kinderlime Logo
Kinderlime
  • Starting Price
    • 0-60 Kids: $99/month
    • 61-90 Kids: $149/month
    • 90+ Kids: $199/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Parent Portal
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Parent portal
Sandbox Logo
Sandbox Child Care Management
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Attendance tracking

Sandbox simplifies the childcare management process with detailed profiles for every student, including important information such as medical reminders, dietary requirements, and guardians approved for pickup. Staffing management tools help Sandbox users keep track of hours worked and required immunizations, as well as first-aid training and other certifications. Teachers can keep parents engaged with real-time progress updates and instant messages throughout the day. The Sandbox portal enables parents to enroll kids in classes, join waitlists, and pay their tuition online. Sandbox can be set up for multiple independent sites with location-based user access permissions for increased security.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Annual billing discount
  • Unlimited users and devices
  • Free product upgrades

Cons

  • Enterprise pricing required for multiple locations
  • Phone support during business hours only

Summary

Sandbox Logo
Sandbox Child Care Management
  • Starting Price
    • Billed Monthly
    • 0-24 Children: $59/month
    • 25-49 Children: $79/month
    • 50-99 Children: $129/month
    • 100-199 Children: $169/month
    • 200+ Children: $199/month
    • Billed Annually
    • 0-24 Children: $47/month
    • 25-49 Children: $63/month
    • 50-99 Children: $103/month
    • 100-199
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Parent Portal
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Attendance tracking

How We Chose the Best Child Care Software

Childcare can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but keeping track of students, staff, and billing may feel like a full-time job in itself. Childcare software is the ideal solution, allowing busy professionals to manage classrooms and keep parents engaged and informed. We selected the best childcare software based on criteria that's important to most educators.

Childcare Software Features

Our preferred childcare software includes data-rich profiles for students and staff, calendar management, and attendance tracking. The best come with real-time parent engagement features that allow teachers to share photos and videos of milestones throughout the day.

Integrations

We chose childcare software that supported integration with some of the most popular apps and tools, such as accounting and data management programs.

Reports

Ideally, childcare software should enable users to create detailed reports for the most important aspects of operations, including staff-student ratios, billing, and payroll hours worked.