After one daycare shut down by state, new daycare opens in Cedarburg

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CEDARBURG (WITI) -- Nearly eight months after the state shut down a Cedarburg daycare center following an investigation by Cedarburg police -- a new owner has taken over and opened up a new daycare.

The Family Tree Learning Center on Washington Ave. in Cedarburg was shut down in April of 2013 after Cedarburg police investigated a report of sexual contact taking place between an adolescent and a young child who attended the daycare.

During an investigation, Cedarburg police received another report of sexual contact between the same adolescent and another child who attended the daycare center.

A meeting was held for parents on April 20th — where parents were given an overview of the first two reports that are currently under investigation. During this meeting, more potential victims were identified.

Trista Ziehr ran the Family Tree Learning Center — a Cedarburg daycare, and is accused of knowing a child was being molested by a 12-year-old boy and not reporting it -- and has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Now operating in the space that was formerly the Family Tree Learning Center, is the MorningStar Montessori Academy -- a full childcare center for ages 15 months to six years old.

"We started looking for spaces and we found this space. I guess we created a comeback story. We're bringing something new and fresh and beautiful and safe. The idea is you really take the time to work with the child," Vera Brissman said.

Brissman is the new owner, and is Head of Curriculum for the center. She says it was a challenge and even a gamble taking over this space based on its past.

However, with a total remodel of the inside and outside, MorningStar hopes to create a different legacy beginning next year.

MorningStar is currently enrolling children into its program.

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