4 Flexible Part-Time Jobs for Parents Whose Kids Are in School

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  • Once your kids start school, you'll have several free childcare hours a day.
  • It could be a great time to get a part-time job -- one you can do and still be there for pickup and dropoff.

Welcome to free childcare. Here's how to make the most of it.

Last September, a friend of mine who had been a stay-at-home parent for several years decided she wanted to go back to work full-time once her youngest child was old enough to attend school. The logic was that since she didn't have to pay for daycare at that point, she could try to find a job and just cover the cost of before- and after-school care (which is generally a lot cheaper).

But my friend had, unfortunately, been out of the labor force for a number of years. And she hadn't had the highest paying jobs before taking a career break. As such, most of the offers she got were for lower-paying roles, and the cost of the childcare she still needed would've eaten up the bulk of her paychecks.

Rather than give up, she decided to get a part-time job -- one she could do a few hours a day while her kids were at school. It wound up being the perfect arrangement for her. She was able to earn some money for her family without having to stress over securing childcare and paying for it.

If your kids are going to school for the first time, you might finally have an opportunity to pick up some part-time work during the day. And you may find that working part-time makes more sense, financially and logistically, than holding down a full-time role. Here are a few flexible gigs worth going after.

1. Substitute teacher

The beauty of being a substitute teacher is getting to work the same hours your kids are in school. And you don't need specific skills to take on this role (you do, however, generally need to submit to a background check). Plus, because you're not commiting to a preset schedule, you'll have the option to decline work if you're having a busy week.

2. Content writer or editor

Many content-related jobs don't require you to report to an office. They just require an internet connection and a quiet room where you can concentrate. If you're a good writer or a grammar whiz, it pays to see what work you can pick up along these lines.

3. Medical billing associate

People who work in medical billing don't always work out of an actual office. But even if that's a requirement, you may find a practice that's willing to hire you for a four- or five-hour day so you can drop your kids off at school in the morning and be back in time for pickup.

4. Rideshare driver

When you drive for a rideshare service, you get to set your own hours. And if you're limited to those hours when your kids are in school, so be it. Furthermore, this gig doesn't require you to commit to a preset schedule, so if there's a week when school's out, you can simply opt to not pick up fares rather than stress about securing childcare coverage.

Working part-time while your kids are in school is a great way to boost your household income and meet goals like building your savings. And it pays to look at these gigs due to the flexibility involved.

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