Keith Raniere devised a ‘revolutionary’ babysitting program to teach children. It is called Rainbow Cultural Garden.
His concept is based on his theory that teaching children from earliest infancy in multilingualism develops greater brain development.
Mr. Raniere does not speak any foreign languages. He can speak only English.
Mr. Raniere’s program provides each child in the Rainbow Cultural Garden seven different foreign babysitters. Each babysitter speaks in their native language to the child.
The seven languages are Spanish, English, Mandarin, Arabic, Hindi, Russian, German and Japanese.
The “Full Rainbow’, with all seven languages, costs $120,000 per year per child in the USA. There is a discount per child if more than one sibling is enrolled.
It is not known if he conducted any studies to support his brain development theory.
The babysitters are called ‘Multi Cultural Development Specialists’ [MDS].
MDS’ are paid between $10-$15 per hour. While they babysit the child, they speak to the child only in their native language.
The weekly schedule is that each of the seven babysitters watch the child alternatively for a total of 90 hours per week of foreign babysitting. Each of the seven babysitters is with a child about 13 hours per week.
At 90 hours per week, the Rainbow program engulfs the average child’s every waking hour.
Many MDS are hired from online advertisements.
An MDS does not have to hold a college degree or have a background in early child development.
There are no evaluation tests to ascertain how fluently a MDS candidate speaks her own language.
MDSs do not have to demonstrate advanced linguistic skills in their native language.
They only have to be willing to work for $10 – $15 per hour and be able to speak one of the seven languages as their native tongue.
Like all of Mr. Raniere’s enterprises there is a strong business model.
Rainbow operates on what retailers call ‘Keystone.” Keystone is to sell services or products at double the cost. At 90 hours per week, and $10 +/- per hour, it costs Rainbow about $50,000 per year for babysitting services.
The concept that seven strangers come into a home and speak in foreign languages to a child for 90 hours a week is a novel one. There is no kindergarten, no early childhood education, or any set curriculum associated with the program.
In Rainbow, parents have to take Mr. Raniere’s claim of greater brain development based on faith. There is no testing of children to determine how well they learn any of the languages.
When an MDS is with the child, parents are encouraged not to talk to their child so that the child imbibes the foreign language of the MDS who is present.
Some parents do less than the full seven languages.
Mr Raniere, who claims to be a scientist, holds a bachelor’s degree. He majored in biology, mathematics and physics. He hold no master’s or doctorate degrees.
He has never published any peer reviewed scientific study. He is not known to have published any scientific study.
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