@michelle-barboza – To my understanding this all gets a little tricky, as it depends upon how the grant is administered. Federal and state grants, often administered through university finance/budget departments, have strict regulations on what kinds of things funds can be used for. Dependent/child care is frequently specified on the “no” list. Other institutions, like the National Institute of Health, are more family-friendly and allow grant funds to be used for parental leave or child care (see here for a discussion: https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2011/01/19/family-friendly-policies-apply-to-all-grants/).
Another article from Science Magazine highlights that some private foundations, such as the Elsevier Foundation, have begun offering “child-care grants that help parents pay for their own child-care solutions” when attending annual conferences. Obviously this is limited help, since it only addresses meeting-related travel, but it is a step in the right direction. http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2014/08/new-initiatives-offer-child-care-solutions-traveling-scientists
I would be interested to know if program officers at NSF and other grant institutions are moving in the same direction? @bmacfadden, did you ever discuss such things when you were at NSF?