The current study analysed work activities of educators. To our knowledge, no computer-based real time studies do exist on working conditions in day care centres.
Our study revealed several important findings. Consistently with educators' perception relatively little time was allotted to individual contact to a child. This contact enables cognition of child's resources and abilities . But a successful advancement of children requires enough time to build a relationship . Therefore a reduction of the size of the group is needed.
A stable relationship between nursery school educator and child assists development, educational and learning processes . This finding might be explained by the attachment theory. Close connections affect social behaviour and also self-perception, possibilities to interact as well as learning skills of a person. Attachment, education and literacy are a precondition, that a child can grow up in a holistic and positive manner . However educator-child-relation is strongly affected by institution. Former studies showed that strain and workload have an influence on the relationships to children. Connections get formalised, which has negative consequences for children and educators .
Moreover, only a small amount of time was spent on contact to parents. Parental involvement is an important factor to mediate between educational institution and family structures. It is seen as a basic support of pedagogical work in the day care centre [17–19]. A successful exchange between nursery school teacher and parents could be beneficial for educational process of all relevant children. Former studies showed that family-supportive measures are particularly successful if parents and educators cooperate . The use of manifold experiences of pedagogical staff and parents is meaningful for child's development. Furthermore a positive relationship between educator and parents is essential for a valuable child care. A parent should have the possibility to talk about any possible concern with the nursery school teacher, even more because educator are those - adjacent to physicians - who call parents' attention most frequently to developmental disorders of their children . In this connection contact to parents is important with regard to preventive measures.
In opposition to nursery school teachers' reports in the current study only a small amount of time was devoted to documentation duties during study period. One reason therefore may be that educators have no time to fulfil these duties on the job. Research data confirm that pedagogical staff often completes these tasks during leisure time .
A source of stress is the high number of simultaneously performed tasks. One key result of the present study was the magnitude of multitasking in the workplace. As the principal reason for multitasking is reduction of time-pressure , this finding corroborates nursery school teachers' self-reports [1, 6, 24, 25]. The demanding work environment compel nursery school teachers to perform two or more activities at the same time, although multitasking causes cognitive overload and has been found to be associated with reduced performance at work [26, 27]. Moreover sequentially performed tasks last as long as simultaneously executed tasks . Besides a reduced work performance multitasking may also affect the quality in child care.