The NSF now allows their funding to be used to pay for childcare expenses for scientists attending conferences in the United States. I take it that this means that organizers of NSF-sponsored conferences can offer to reimburse the childcare costs of attendees.
I periodically help to run conferences which are funded by the NSF, and I would like to offer funding for childcare to help parents attend the conferences I run. What should I know about childcare?
From what I have read on the internet, it seems that parents would like conference organizers to make all the arrangements in advance. However, as a nonparent I question my ability to do this effectively. I know nothing about daycare. Moreover, I would somewhat prefer to make sure that childcare will actually be required before I take the time to arrange it.
Is it enough to advertise "Funding for childcare will be available; if you require childcare, please contact us by [date] so we can make arrangements", to encourage parents to use the internet/telephone to find a provider they like, and to reimburse for the bills? Or is it important to go beyond this in some way?