In her first interview since filming her final scenes for the show, Charlie told HELLO! magazine exclusively: "Kiki cried her eyes out when I told her I was leaving. She has been on set a lot over the years."
The actress also tells HELLO! she is scared about the immediate future – but also excited to see what's out there, as well as spend more time with her daughter.
"I was so lucky in landing a role like Janine when I was only 17," she said. "I grew up there and the thought of not being there does sometimes frighten me. I have days where I am hugely insecure and question my ability to hack it elsewhere but ultimately, the excitement of the challenge overrules those feelings.
Charlie cosies up with her daughter at her local pub Ye Olde Swan in Surrey before heading out to the jungle to crown the new winner of this series
"It is a brave decision for me though. I will miss the financial security. But I can't wait to do all those regular mummy things with Kiki, like picking her up from school and baking cakes. Between the long hours and an hour-and-a-half travelling time either side of my working day, I have missed out on those things."
But she says she will greatly miss her castmates. "EastEnders is like family to me, so I will miss everyone terribly. I am in a very fortunate position and they are leaving the door open."
As the reigning Queen of the Jungle, she will shortly be flying to Australia to crown the new winner - and Charlie said she has been watching the latest series with interest.
Talking about the current controversy over Rebecca Adlington's anguish on the show, she said: "It says a lot really doesn't it that an Olympian double gold medallist can feel insecure about her figure? There are a lot of women out there who will recognize what she is feeling."
To read more of the interview with Charlie, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! magazine.