Quality Rated


The Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) hired Widmeyer to develop a highly-integrated, statewide communications campaign to raise awareness of Georgia’s Quality Rated program, which provides families with a free online tool that helps them find high-quality child care programs in their area.



  • PSAs distributed to 50 TV stations,100 newspapers, and 300 radio stations in the first six months

  • 205% increase in website visits within the first six months

Quality Rated, an initiative led by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (Georgia DECAL), had been in existence for years, but many Georgia parents still hadn’t heard about it. Our challenge was to overcome this lack of awareness.

In order to ensure an effective campaign, all content and approaches had to be research-driven. All messages, creative development for advertisements, other print, and online outreach, and the specific communications channels we planned to employ would need to be informed by the insight and feedback gleaned from Georgia parents and caregivers, our primary target audience.

To gather that valuable information, we conducted a total of 12 in-person focus groups, targeting a diverse set of parents across the state, as well as a statewide parent survey to further test messages and concepts that performed well in our focus groups. We also conducted a digital demand mapping exercise to ensure we efficiently targeted our primary audiences online where they are most likely to see and interact with our information. 

The official campaign slogan and concept, “Kids are a Mystery,” was informed by our research and designed with input from early childhood experts at Georgia DECAL. We developed the concept and creative assets, and translated them into the following foundational pieces:

  • Branding
  • Website redesign
  • Spokesperson and provider training
  • Social media editorial calendar and content
  • Collateral for events and toolkits
  • Partnership outreach
  • TV, radio, print and out-of-home PSAs