With survey results in hand, the strategic planning sessions for a countywide child care strategic plan are underway for Marion County.

The first of a series of meetings involving the Marion County Development Commission, the PACE Alliance and other community organizations convened in Knoxville on Tuesday morning. Those parties involved will be looking at how to improve the level of child care available in Marion County, with an eye towards making relocation to the county attractive to potential employers and employees.

A lack of child care has been cited as one of the main hurdles Marion County has to overcome; providers are in short supply, and there are few options for people who work evenings and weekends, who have children that are sick, or have children with special needs.

These planning sessions are open to anyone affected by child care needs, from caregivers and educators to providers and community leaders.

The Knoxville sessions will be conducted on Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Marion County Office Building at 3014 East Main Street in Knoxville. Upcoming sessions will be on January 22nd, January 29th and February 12th.