Santa Barbara County community members are being asked to provide critical information about the need for services for children up to age 5 as part of First 5 Santa Barbara County’s Strategic Planning process.

Parents, social service providers, educators and others interested in the well-being of the county’s youngest children are invited to participate in a series of Community Input Sessions that will help the First 5 Santa Barbara County Commission guide its investments in services that prepare children up to age 5 for kindergarten over the next three years.

Session participants will hear about First 5’s work since its inception in 1998, collaborative partnerships and effective strategies throughout the community, research into best practices, opportunities for the future, as well as the fiscal realities that must be addressed in the years ahead. Participants will be asked to contribute ideas about needs in their community affecting kindergarten readiness and priorities for the future.

All sessions will be held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. No RSVP required. No child care will be available

» Solvang — July 23, Old Mission Santa Ines, 1760 Mission Drive

» Guadalupe — July 24, Mary Buren Elementary School/multipurpose room, 1050 Peralta St.

» New Cuyama — July 25, Family Resource Center, 4803 Cebrian St.

» Carpinteria — July 30, Main School auditorium, 5400 Eighth St.

» Lompoc — Aug. 6, LUSD Education Center Board Room, 1301 North A St.

» Santa Barbara — Aug. 7, Franklin Center, 1136 E. Montecito St.

» Santa Maria — Aug. 8, Minami Center, 600 W. Enos Drive

— Katie Corda is the community outreach coordinator for First 5 Santa Barbara County.