School Administrators, staff members with edit permissions enabled, and Student Contacts with Parent level edit permissions can add additional Student Contacts to a student’s profile. These user types can add additional contacts regardless of type: Parent, Family, Approved Pickup, and Emergency Contacts to a student’s profile.

The ability to modify a student's profile and contact list does depend on the provider’s permissions settings, many childcare providers limit the parent contact’s permissions to be view only. This means that the student contact will need to contact the provider directly to make any updates. Parent contacts will see a banner that reads This profile is available to view only when viewing the student’s profile on the mobile device if your school has limited parent permissions.

Table of Contents

Add a New Contact

Student Contacts that have been added as the Parent contact type with the ability to edit a student's profile can add student contacts from the web or mobile app. Adding a new contact will allow that individual to immediately create a brightwheel account and be associated with that specific student. The provider will not be alerted when a new contact is added, it’s important to also communicate with the provider if there are any changes to the list of people who are approved to pick up a student.

Add a Contact on the Web

  1. Click on My Children from the left-hand menu

  2. Select the desired student's account by clicking on their name

  3. Scroll down to the Contacts section and click Add Contact

  4. Select the appropriate Contact Type from the dropdown menu
    Please Note: For specifics on Contact Types and their access levels, review the appropriate section below in this article!

  5. Add the new contact's information & click Save Contact

  6. Choose to send an invitation to join brightwheel now or at a later date

Add a Contact on Mobile

  1. Open your student’s profile by tapping on their name

  2. Tap the Pencil icon to edit on android or Profile on iOS

  3. Scroll down to locate the Contacts section

  4. Click the ➕ sign

  5. Select the 'Contact Type'

  6. Fill in the 'Personal Details' and 'Account Info'

  7. When finished, click Save

Modify or Remove A Student Contact

Parent contacts with edit permission have the ability to edit or remove other contacts from a student's profile at any time. To do so, log into the web or mobile app, and follow the same steps to add a contact to locate the Contacts sections of a student's profile. Click Edit if viewing on the web, or simply tap on the contacts name on mobile, make any desired changes and click Save. To remove them, click Remove next to their name on the web or the X on mobile.

It’s important to note that any account information that impacts the contact’s ability to log in, such as email or mobile number, can only be edited by that user from their account. The only fields that can be edited by staff and parent contacts are names and additional, unverified phone numbers.

Change Contact Type

If a contact was added as the incorrect contact type and needs to be updated, the contact will first need to be removed from the student's contact list entirely and then added back again as the correct contact type. Please make note of the email address or mobile phone number used. When adding the contact back, choose the new contact type, enter only the email address or mobile number, and save. The rest of the information will pull in from their account.

Contacts and Access

Each student contact type has a different level of access to a student’s profile and brightwheel features.


  • Can see all updates in the Daily Feed

  • Can access all Billing and Payment information

  • Can edit the student’s profile information

  • Can send messages to the childcare provider, and receive messages in a thread shared between all staff members and Parent contacts associated with the student

  • Can add or remove other contacts from the student’s profile (depending on the provider’s settings)


  • Can see all updates in the Daily Feed

  • Can send messages to the school, but cannot receive messages or see sent/received messages.

  • Can access all Billing and Payment information (if added as a payer)

  • Cannot add or remove other adults from the student’s profile

  • Cannot edit student’s profile information

Approved Pick-ups

  • Can check the student in/out

  • Cannot see updates in the Daily Feed

  • Can access all Billing and Payment information (if added as a payer)

  • Cannot add or remove other adults from the student’s profile

  • Cannot edit student’s profile information

  • Cannot send/receive messages.

Emergency Contact

  • Is the only Contact Type that does not get an invitation to join brightwheel upon being added and cannot create an account

  • Has no access to the student’s profile within brightwheel. This is simply a reference for contact information.

Troubleshooting Error Messages

For the security and safety of the student’s personal information, adding and modifying contacts in a student’s profile must be done in a very specific way. It is common to receive an error message if the instructions outlined above are not followed.

Common Error Messages

The following error messages are the most common when modifying a student’s contact list. Typically they're straightforward to resolve, but sometimes, the contact may need to reach out to our support team to deactivate an old or duplicate account.

The phone number and email belong to different accounts in brightwheel.

This error indicates that there is a mismatch between the email address and mobile phone number entered. This may mean that the contact has two accounts, one with their phone number and one with their email address. To correct this, try adding the contact with ONLY their email address. The contacts should reach out to to have the account associated with their phone number removed so that they can add it to their active account.

[Contact name] is already a contact for [Student name].

This indicates that the contact being added is already added as a contact for that student. If the intent is to change the contact type, simply edit the record and choose the desired contact type.

This email belongs to a teacher account. Please use a different email to create their parent account.

This means that the email address of the contact being added is already associated with a staff/teacher account. The staff account needs to be deactivated before the email address can be used for a student contact. Start a conversation with our Support team and we can assist with deactivating that account. Alternatively, this contact can be added as a student contact with just their mobile phone number. This will allow them to use brightwheel as both a student contact and a teacher.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes it is not always clear what is happening when viewing the brightwheel app as a student contact. Below are the most common questions our support team receives and how best to address them.

Why can’t I see any messages or billing?

This could mean the contact type is not set correctly or possibly that you need to added as a payer on the student's billing account.

Parents can send and see messages, Family can only send messages, and Approved Pickups/Emergency Contacts cannot see or send messages at all.

Family and Approved Pickups can added as payers on a student's account, but are not added by default, like a Parent would be. A program administrator will need to create your account with the correct contact type if it's set up incorrectly.

I have two accounts, one with my email and one with my phone number, can I merge them?

While it is not possible to merge these accounts, it is possible to disconnect and deactivate one account and then add the information to the desired one.

  1. Log into the account associated with the phone number

  2. Add yourself as a parent contact to the student(s) with your email address to ensure that your primary account will be associated with all relevant students

  3. Remove the contact record associated with your phone number

  4. Send an email to with your full 10-digit phone number requesting that it be deactivated

  5. Once deactivated, add the phone number to your account associated with the email address.

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