The charger plate, for decoration, is never used for food.
Martha Stewart says that this is one of the only pieces of china that should be part of a table setting. She includes the bread plate as the other piece. According to her, a first-course soup bowl or salad plate can be set on top of it and then it is cleared from the table.
Other references indicate the charger plate can remain for the meal.
So our take on it is, that after we have taken great care to get a charger plate for your china, why clear them away so soon? Leave the charger plate on the table with the entre.