The Government has been accused of dragging its feet over inspections of children's centres, which have been frozen since 2015.
Action for Children says nearly a thousand children’s centres have remained unchecked for years because of the freeze - imposed to allow for a review of their future which has never taken place.
It says there are now 969 centres which have not been assessed for their performance and impact for five years because of the suspension.
Ofsted has remained responsible for emergency inspections of centres if a safeguarding concern is raised - but a Freedom of Information request from Action for Children revealed that no such emergency inspections were carried out.
Inspections collect evidence on aspects such as the safety of the centre, how its public finances are managed, how well it serves young children and parents in the area and its success in identifying prospective families in most need.
Chief executive of Action for Children, Sir Tony Hawkhead, said: 'While it continues to drag its feet, central government is letting down tens of thousands of children and families who need support now.
'It urgently needs to push through its overdue review of early years services so children’s centres have clarity about how they should be working, what they should be achieving and the accountability framework they are working to.'