The determinants of self-rated job demands amongst Early Childhood Educators and Carers

Stream: Early childhood
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 1.25 pm – 2.25 pm


This presentation reports on a study of Early Childhood Educators and Carers (ECEC), collected using the ‘intensive hour’ technique using respondents’ own smartphone. The technique collects randomly one-hour samples of respondents working time. When notified, the respondent answers about the previous 60 minutes. Currently e have gathered about 8,351 episodes of employment-related activities. The software is programmed to also capture characteristics of the individual and their workplace, information about context of the activity and, importantly, a self-rating of job demands in in the sampled hours. Respondents rate the intensity of pace of hours’ work, the extent of multiple demands, estimate their level of stress on scale ranging and their job satisfaction 1 to 10. The outstanding characteristic of this occupation is rapid switching of tasks, and the juggling of many demands, from a multitude of children under the worker’s care. Preliminary analysis indicates that the self-rated items on the pace of work, multiple demands/frequent switching of tasks and stress load into a single factor. Linear modelling of the intensity of job demands shows that working in a pre-school, rather than a long-day care centre, dealing with children under 3 years of age increase the experience of intensity. The duration of time spent doing emotional care, communicating with parents and family, doing ‘routine’ childcare activities and organising/maintaining equipment and facilities are significantly related the experience of intensified job demands. Being away from children, doing activities staff development on a break, predictably. Significantly reduce the intensity if experienced job demands.


Michael Bittman (Presenter), Working Time Research Pty Ltd
Michael Bittman, is an Emeritus Professor in Sociology at UNE and honorary affiliate of the SPRC. He is an internationally recognized expert on time use data, consultant to the United Nations, national statistical organisations and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He has published on the sexual division of labor, intra-household bargaining, work-family balance, ICTs, children’s activities, and reliability and validity of time diaries

Linda Harrison, Macquarie University
Professorial Research Fellow, Department of Educational Studies, Macquarie University and leader of ARC Linkage project ' Exemplary early childhood educators at work : A multi-level analysis’.

Judith E. Brown, SPRC, UNSW
Judith E Brown, BSc, GDipEd, GDipPsych, BA(Hons), MAppStats (Macq) is Research Officer Social Policy Research Centre