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Aressa Coley

Senior Director, Early Care and Education

  • Biography

Aressa Coley is a Senior Director in Afton’s early childhood practice. Her career is dedicated to empowering leaders to solve their most complex programs, systems, and process challenges. Aressa‚Äôs expertise supports states in developing robust early childhood systems, championing equity, enhancing program effectiveness, fostering coherence, and ensuring sustainability to support the best outcomes for children and their families. Her work catalyzes systems change through strategic planning, advisory board facilitation, stakeholder engagement, landscape analysis, policy guidance, and systems-building initiatives that prioritize the holistic development of children and families.

Aressa has collaborated with over a dozen states to build their capacity to enhance and fortify their early childhood systems. Most notably, she led California’s Preschool Development Grants, California’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care, and facilitated California’s Early Childhood Policy Council. These initiatives collectively revolutionized the state’s approach to childcare, universal pre-K, compensation models, workforce development, integrated data systems, funding mechanisms, and cross-sector governance, imprinting a lasting legacy on California’s early childhood landscape.

In her free time, she enjoys singing and spending time in nature.