Care work is what individuals do every day when they spend time cooking, cleaning and caring for children, the ill, the disabled and the elderly, and maintaining a household. The total of all care work, paid and unpaid, comprises the care economy. The care economy is a relatively new but highly significant concept in thinking about the labour market, productivity and economic growth. Whereas paid care work is considered a service, and is counted as productive work and in national output, unpaid care work is not valued, counted or considered in national statistics or policy agendas. Unpaid care work has, up until the last few years, been thought to be too diffcult to measure and not relevant for policies.