Joey Lawrence and wife Chandie believe in spending as much time as possible  with daughters Charli, 5, and Liberty, 17 months.

“We don’t have nannies – we’re hands-on parents,” the actor, 35, tells me at a Pampers Little Miracle Missions event in NYC.”I don’t believe in nannies running around.”

He continues, “I think if you have kids, then you should raise them. I think that you get the first five years to set a foundation with your child, and if they’re in day care or nanny care for eight or nine hours a day, I mean, some people don’t have that choice, but for us, I would work ten jobs so that one of us can stay home because I think it’s vital. You don’t get those first five years back. You lay the foundation of trust and dependency then, and you build on that for the rest of your life.”

He calls being the only guy in the house “different.”

“When I grew up, my mom was the only girl in the house,” he says. “It was all guys in my house. It’s a change. It’s cool. Being surrounded by all girls has a totally different meaning than it did when I was 20!”

What are his daughters into these days?

“Charli’s all about princesses, dresses, outfits, jewelry and drawing,” he says. “She loves math. Libby’s one, so she likes everything her sister likes. She loves to eat – loves to eat! Loves food. She’s a foodie already – it’s incredible. Honestly, she’ll eat anything. Anything I put in front of her, she’ll eat. Everything I eat – I eat everything – from avocados to grapefruit to, you name it, she’ll eat it. Tofu, steak. She’ll eat anything. It’s incredible!”

Catch Joey on ABC Family show Melissa and Joey, which airs Wednesdays at 8/7C.

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